“The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Medicine is committed to equality in health care. Our mission is to grow the number of underrepresented minority and LGBTQIA+ faculty and trainees in medicine. We hope to foster a culturally rich and diverse environment that promotes minority medical students’ interest in our specialty and attracts excellent faculty members from diverse backgrounds to our institution. Our goal is for our faculty and staff to mirror the patient population we serve.”




This program was started in collaboration with the Urban Health Program of the College of Medicine. First and second  year medical students are paired with a faculty and a resident mentor. Students join the faculty and resident mentor a least once a month in clinic, hospital rounds, and/or procedure. In doing so, they are exposed to the daily practice of internal and its subspecialties. Mentors are encouraged to provide career advice and guide the student through the process of residency application. To date, more than 20 students have completed the mentoring program and several students are engaged in long-term scholarly projects with their respective mentors. We are hopeful that both the quantity and quality of underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities that we attract to the training programs at UIC will continue to increase, effectively establishing a solid pipeline of highly qualified academicians of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds. For more information, contact: [email protected]


The Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois, at Chicago offers a 2-week annual summer immersion program in Internal Medicine and its subspecialties and is offered to underrepresented minority (URM) medical students. During this time, students are exposed to outpatient and inpatient academic internal medicine and internal subspecialties, including allergy-immunology, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, hematology –oncology, infectious disease, rheumatology, nephrology, pulmonary and critical care. Students will also gain community experiences by working with faculty in the local community and nursing home sites. Additionally, students will be given the opportunity to work with research faculty to develop scholarly projects.

  • The Summer Externship Program is offered to all URM medical students at the end of their first year of medical school.
  • To be considered for the program, the student completes an application and one-page letter explaining why they should be chosen.
  • Students chosen for the program commit to a minimum 40-hour workweek for 2 weeks.
  • Exposure to clinical environments in the areas of Internal Medicine
  • Development of a mentoring relationship with a teaching faculty member
  • Introduction to important concepts involving the doctor/patient relationship
  • Participation in a research project which may eventually lead to manuscript preparation

For more information, contact: [email protected]



CHOP is a student run initiative led by members of the UIC’s Latino Student Medical Association (LMSA), the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), the College of Medicine Chicago Medical Student Council (CMSC), and other UIC medical students. Under the supervision of Drs. Olga Garcia-Bedoya, Brian Layden, and Claudia Lora, the medical students have worked diligently in organizing health fairs and encouraging community members to become active participants in their own health care. CHOP strives to improve health care access to undeserved communities, while also providing the opportunity for medical students to gain clinical exposure.  We hope to engage students in the care of vulnerable populations and encourage patient-centered, culturally and values-based healthcare. For more information, contact: Olga Garcia-Bedoya, MD – [email protected] or Claudia Lora, MD, MS – [email protected]



Co-Director, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force
Alana Biggers, MD, MPH, FACP
Assistant Professor of  Medicine, Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics

Department of Medicine

Dr. Biggers specializes in general internal medicine of adults and older adults. Her particular areas of interest include preventive health, chronic disease management, health maintenance and prevention, women’s health services, and adult cancer survivors.

Co-Director, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force
Olga Garcia-Bedoya, MD, FACP
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics
Director, Community-based Health Outreach Program
Department of Medicine

Dr. Olga Garcia is an internal medicine specialist at UI Health. Dr. Garcia is an expert in caring for people with chronic illness, diabetes, and hypertension. Her interests also include preventive medicine and women’s health. Bilingual English-Spanish


Maximo O. Brito, MD, MPH
Claudia Lora, MD, MS
Paula G. Allen-Meares, PhD
Geri Donenberg, PhD
Sharmilee Nyenhuis, MD
Fred A. Zar, MD

Patricia W. Finn, MD
George T. Kondos, MD
Jorge Girotti, PhD
Karriem Watson, DHSc, MS, MPH
Alfredo Mena Lora, MD, FACP
Patrick Godwin, MD, MBA

Anna Maria Gramelspacher, MD
Jorge Cavero, MD
Ramon Garcia, MD
Rachael King, MD
Lisa K. Butler, MPA



The DITF actively participates at national meetings of the Latino Medical Student Association: (LMSA) and the Student National Medical Association (SNMA): These organizations are the largest national meetings for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. The Department of Medicine faculty serve on a continuous basis as speakers in these meetings as a way to donate resources to these organizations committed to improving the health of underserved communities through increasing the pipeline for a more diverse and inclusive medical field.

Underrepresented in Medicine (URM) residency/applicant mixers: We host mixers during recruitment season to answer questions about our program’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Starting in January of 2016, the UIC College of Medicine’s Office of Health Literacy, has been offering the course “Introduction to Health Disparities, Health Literacy, and Cultural Competence”. Approximately more than 200 individuals registered for the January, March and October sessions. These individuals come from 11 colleges across the university and included students, faculty, residents, fellows, and health professionals.  Topics covered during the course include defining Health Disparities, Health Equity, the Social Determinants Of Health, conceptual models for the aforementioned, health disparities in managed care, the definition of and prevalence of health literacy, core ideas from health literacy research, screening, assessment, and tips for the medical encounter; definition and conceptual models for cultural competence, and strategies for becoming culturally competent and communicating with diverse populations.


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