College of

Diversity Dialogue dinners focus on inclusive excellence

The College of Human Medicine Student and Diversity Affairs hosted Diversity Dialogue Dinners in East Lansing on December 7, 2018 and in Grand Rapids on December 14, 2018.  Students, faculty and community physicians were invited to share an evening of dialogue focused on building cultural understanding and connection to enhance the medical student experience.

More than fifty students, faculty and community physicians attended each event and shared their unique perspectives.  Over dinner, participants discussed such topics as why they chose to study or work at the College of Human Medicine, what values guide their learning and professional development and ways in which the College could promote the connection of faculty and students in the pursuit of inclusive excellence.

A number of themes emerged as to why students and faculty chose the College of Human Medicine including the College’s commitment to diversity, to serving the underserved and to promoting resilience. Students stressed the importance of incorporating cultural competence into curricular content and required experiences so that all students are prepared to serve patients from many backgrounds.

Some recommendations and suggestions for additional activities included: speed dating with faculty and community physicians to develop and strengthen relationships;  mixers that could connect students with residents and faculty; opportunities for faculty to share more of their backgrounds; establishing mentor relationships at matriculation; working in community outreach; community engagement events with learning society and college faculty; potlucks and cook-offs that link culture and food as one means of enhancing cultural understanding;  examining diversity through the lens of art, music, and dance; and the creation of safe spaces and more opportunities for students of different classes to interact with one another across the four years of the curriculum.