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At the UNC Department of Surgery, “diversity” and “inclusion” are not jargon; they are essential parts of our culture, here at the largest medical school in North Carolina and within the Department of Surgery. We use these terms to foster a sense of belonging among our students, trainees, staff, faculty, and the patients we care for in Chapel Hill and around the state.

Because we are part of an academic medical center, we know it is our responsibility to train and mentor future doctors, physician assistants, clinical researchers, and basic scientists to appreciate diversity and understand its importance to our education, research, and clinical missions, not to mention to the very fabric of our state and country. We are committed to attracting a diverse pool of outstanding students, trainees, and expertly trained faculty. We do this because the school of medicine is committed to valuing all people, regardless of background, lifestyle, or culture. We know that a diverse and inclusive work environment for staff, students, trainees, and faculty helps foster appropriate care for patients. And this is essential to the fulfillment of our vision to improve the health of all North Carolinians.

Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Luigi Pascarella

“We believe in priming an environment that fosters positive relationships and creative thinking while abiding to our clinical and academic missions. At UNC, we strive to create a community of belonging that reflects our multicultural nation. We endeavor to build a community of inclusion, cultural competence, and awareness where all voices are heard and cheered in their differences.”
-Luigi Pascarella, MD, FACS, (He/His/Him)
Office Phone: (919) 966-3392


The Numbers

Gender graph

*AAMC = Association of American Medical Colleges

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Diversity Committee

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School of Medicine Office of Inclusive Excellence

DEI Resources
The Office of Inclusive Excellence provides coordination, oversight, and leadership of the UNC SOM’s diversity and inclusion programs and leads the school efforts to maintain and continue to build upon a diverse faculty and inclusive environment that values and respects the contributions of all members of the community. Check out their full list of resources and organizations.

Educational Recordings

Spiritual Resources
UNC Medical Center offers Spiritual Resources.
Finding My Voice from Behind the Mask
May 5, 2021. Kimberley Nichols, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Member, Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Council discusses “Finding My Voice from Behind the Mask.”
Understanding Unconscious Bias for Healthcare Professionals
July 8, 2020. Ashalla Freeman, PhD, Director of Diversity Affairs and Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, Office of Graduate Education and Diversity Consultant, Office of Inclusive Excellence and Brenda Mitchell, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Department of Allied Health Sciences Office of Student Services and AHEC Operations discuss “Understanding Unconscious Bias for Healthcare Professionals.”
COVID-19 and Making Culturally Relevant Decisions
April 29, 2020. Nathan Thomas, PhD, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry discusses “COVID-19 and Making Culturally Relevant Decisions”.
Health Disparities and UNC Health Care
October 23, 2019. James Barron, MA, Director, HCS Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion discusses “Health Disparities and UNC Health Care”.
Health Disparities in Minorities and in the LGBT Community: The role of implicit bias
June 12, 2019. Luigi Pascarella, MD, Associate Professor, Division of Vascular Surgery discusses “Health Disparities in Minorities and in the LGBT Community: The role of implicit bias.”
Implicit Bias
March 20, 2019. Keith Payne, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience discusses “Implicit Bias”.

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January 18: UNC's MLK Jr. Lecture and Awards Ceremony
For details and attendance, read more here.
January 23: Chinese Lunar New Year
A festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year in the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar
February is Black History Month
The upcoming diversity month theme is Black History Month. It is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. The Black History Month theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” explores “the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. This theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.” Books, Websites, and other Historical Materials and Guides on Black Health and Wellness
February 11: Happy Birthday Tammy
Birthday of Tammy Baldwin (LGBTQ+): first openly LGBT woman elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
February 14: Happy Birthday Frederick Douglass
A well-known American social reformer and abolitionist, Douglass  escaped slavery and became a prominent activist during the Civil War

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