Near the beginning of the pandemic, (March 2020) the Association of American Medical Colleges convened a committee on equity, diversity, and inclusion with leaders from institutions across the United States. The principal purpose of this meeting was to compose a comprehensive report on the competencies that medical professionals at each level of training could be expected to obtain. Different from other competencies, these only focused on three areas of medicine and healthcare: diversity, equity, and inclusion. I was invited to be a part of the expert panel and traveled to Washington D.C. to work on this project. The day I returned, our institution restricted travel as a nationwide state of emergency took hold.
When we first came together, the framework was explained to us, and we commented and challenged how it was set up. We eventually decided that we would set standards for three types of learners—medical students, residents, and faculty. Early on, however, we realized that there would be medical students that were competent at the faculty level, and faculty members who were less competent in the equity, diversity, and inclusion space than medical students. The competencies are designed so that no matter what position the individual learner occupies, they can start at the medical student level.
We celebrate the publication of this guide, found here. The most significant gift, however, is that we now have a list of expectations, and eager learners from across the spectrum can see where they stand and seek the skills they lack in this area. We are also pleased that this report is available free of charge.
Here at University of Utah Health, we are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and intend to use this guide not only for our faculty, residents, and students in medicine -- but in all health sciences. This can also be used to help change policy at our institution, specifically employee evaluations and promotions, because now we have milestones that show minimum competencies in equity, diversity, and inclusion. We invite all of University of Utah Health to use this tool to advance your efforts.