The UNC Way…Diversity and Inclusion Matters
A message from the Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion

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Keisha Gibson, MD, MPH (Credit: Rochelle Moser)

Inclusivity means not ‘just we’re allowed to be there,’ but we are valued. I’ve always said: smart teams will do amazing things, but truly diverse teams will do impossible things. ~Claudia Brind-Woody (IBM Executive)

Diversity describes who we are. It’s a nod to the unique qualities every individual brings to our program and builds our foundation. Diversity loses its impact however unless inclusion which builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people happens.

You can choose any accredited residency program and feel confident that you will leave that experience prepared with the basic technical standards needed to practice independently. That accreditation does not however, guarantee the cross-cultural competence that will take you from just meeting those basic technical standards of a competent physician to one who is truly prepared to transcend the barriers that promote disparate outcomes based on assigned social factors and economic inequities in our patient population.

When one looks across our program, you’ll see a group of very accomplished individuals. Our residents are engaged in research and presenting on national platforms. They are actively engaged in community projects locally and around the globe. They are leaders and educators within our institution. We saw this front and center as residents of all levels stepped up to meet the clinical demands of our current COVID 19 pandemic. Yes, these are smart individuals. More importantly than that, every last person brings unique qualities to our team that stimulates thought, fosters creativity, denounces mediocrity, and inspires excellence. Our residency program reflects the beautiful tapestry of our state of NC and represents diversity in its broadest definition. In addition to ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, and religious diversity, we have geographic diversity, residents from small liberal arts colleges and residents from large Ivy league universities. We have residents who may have been the first in their family to graduate from high school or college and those coming from generations of physicians, and the list continues.

The strength we enjoy from the diversity of our backgrounds fuels the confidence that grows in our residents as they matriculate through the program. This confidence yields strong voices that inform the growth and changes that are necessary and healthy for any program. For this reason, diversity and inclusion will remain a critical part of our mission and will be integrated throughout the fabric of everything we do.

Keisha L. Gibson, MD, MPH, FASN
DOM Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion