The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine debuted a series of photos in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center last week that show the school’s, students’ and staff’s commitment to diversity.
The photos show students holding signs that have sayings from “If you’re an immigrant, I’ll make you feel at home” and “If you’re a refugee, I will welcome you into my office”.
On the medical school’s website, there is a video that shows more students and staff holding signs with more sayings. The video ends with #IStandWithYou and #UNRMedStandsWithYou.
The photo series and video come during a time that immigrants and refugees are facing increased hardship in the U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed a new executive order on Monday, Mar. 6, that bars entry of refugees from six different countries. This executive order is a revision of his controversial executive order that stopped travel from seven countries that he signed in January.
Trump also signed an executive order in January that made illegal immigrants a priority for the Immigrations and Customs Enforcements to detain and deport, particularly those with a criminal record.
The medical school started their Council on Diversity Initiative in 2012 in order to increase diversity in the school.
“The Council sponsors and promotes events that contribute to cultural awareness among the School of Medicine community,” said the website. “In our bi-monthly meetings, the Council discusses opportunities on campus and in the community for special events, outreach and collaborations. The Council provides training resources for School of Medicine faculty and staff and remains active in participating in diversity studies.”
The Council includes representatives from the medical school’s Office of Admissions, faculty members that study implicit bias and student interest groups such as the LGBTQIA Ally Group, American Medical Women’s Association and Latino Medical Student Association to ensure the most diversity is brought to the school.
The Office of Admissions uses the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Holistic Admissions Review initiative that is shown across the country to increase the diversity of admissions.
“Admissions initiatives have been coupled with merit scholarship awards aligned with the institutional diversity objectives and goals to assist admitted applicants from groups underrepresented in medicine,” said the medical school’s diversity report in 2016.
According to the report, first-year medical school students have over 20 hours of training in unconscious bias, healthcare disparities and managing bias in healthcare.
The school also actively researches bias within the school and healthcare community.
“We have refined the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure, continue to assess our undergraduate medical students on implicit bias at various stages across their training, and have developed a training program to reduce bias that has been embedded into their curriculum in the first year,” said the report. “We plan to expand this training for use with faculty in the future.”
The medical school wants all of their faculty to receive bias training by 2019 and will recruit students and staff to the school by defined diversity categories.
For more information on the UNR Medical School’s promotion of diversity, visit med.unr.edu/diversity and check out the photo series in the knowledge center.