Celebrating Our Differences
A Letter from the director of the UIC Pediatric Residency Diversity and Inclusion Task Force
Diversity is something that we celebrate here in the Pediatrics Department at UIC. We all come from different places, have a variety of backgrounds, grew up in different family structures, and have various religious beliefs. We are a heterogeneous group that are a variety of ages, sizes and colors with unique interests, career goals, and life responsibilities. It is our differences that make us stronger as a department and allow us collectively to learn from each other and achieve individual growth.
The key to diversity and inclusion is to first recognize that certain groups in this country have historically been marginalized and disenfranchised. Secondly, it is to give support and opportunities to those who have been affected by the structural violence of our history and are now underrepresented in medicine. Yet at the same time, for us to be successful we must create opportunities for everyone to speak and have open conversations, sharing personal perspectives so that we all can learn from each other and make sure history does not repeat itself.
As defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), underrepresented in medicine (URM) means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population. This lens currently includes students who identify as African American and/or Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), Pacific Islander, and mainland Puerto Rican. The definition also refers to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or identify as LGBTQ.
This year we have a variety of activities and lectures meant to spark conversation, learning and growth!
For more information about our diversity and inclusion programs and activities, please ask us on your interview day!
Kristen Kenan, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Director of the UIC Pediatric Residency Diversity and Inclusion Task Force