The Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is committed to enhancing and fostering a culture that promotes the engagement, growth and retention of diverse faculty, scientist, staff and trainees.

The department has aligned its efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion with those of VUMC’s Racial Equity Task Force and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM). These initiatives include the establishment of an active Department of Medicine Diversity Liaison Committee, participation in Second Look weekends for medical students and residents, and support for various pipeline programs such as the AspirnautTM, Vanderbilt-Meharry James Puckette Carter Summer Scholarship, and Undergraduate Clinical Research Internship programs. Working with Kim Vinson, MD, Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs in VUSM, our department provides financial support for underrepresented in medicine (URiM) medical students who desire to enroll in away rotations in medicine.

Established in 2021, the Diversity Liaison Committee membership includes one or more representatives from each of the department’s 13 clinical divisions. There are also staff and nursing representatives. The diversity liaisons are responsible for diversity and anti-racism activities in various settings that make up our department. They are encouraged to attend meetings sponsored by VUMC and the VUSM Office of Diversity Affairs, and to coordinate or sponsor area- and division-specific events such as diversity grand rounds, journal clubs and unconscious bias training. The diversity liaisons work with division directors and fellowship program directors to develop strategies to enhance and support diversity and inclusion. As the recommendations of the Racial Equity Task Force are implemented, the diversity liaisons will ensure that our department is fully engaged in anti-racism training and development of a racial equity climate survey.

Recruitment of a diverse resident and fellow population continues to be a top priority for the department. The resident class recruited in the 2021 NRMP Match is 35% self-identified as URiM, and 49% women. This is the most diverse cohort of residents in the department’s history.

Leadership

Walter Clair, MD, MPH

Walter Clair, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion
Department of Medicine, VUMC

 

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