Doctor in scrubsThe Department of Surgery is committed to providing our patients with the best possible care. To accomplish this, we must cultivate an environment where faculty, staff and patients feel like they belong.

This can only be achieved by prioritizing programs that integrate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into medical education, clinical care, research and community engagement.

While there are many ways to define DEI, at its core:

  • Diversity represents our differences that make us unique, including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, political perspective, veteran status and more. However, our focus is less about “quantifying” these differences and more about promoting efforts aimed at understanding, accepting and valuing these differences.
  • Equity relates to creating fair access, opportunity and advancement for everyone in the department — establishing a level playing field.
  • Inclusion is the extent to which people in our department feel valued and respected for their uniqueness.

Action with intention

Led by our DEI vice chair, Sabrena Noria, MD, PhD, and a committee of faculty, residents and staff, our goal is to integrate DEI into the fabric of the department. Our emphasis is on being purposeful with our actions when incorporating DEI into community outreach, medical education, clinical care and research, the four pillars of patient care.

Examples of our efforts include:

  • Ongoing evaluation of both the residency and fellowship selection processes
  • Ongoing review and adjustment of the onboarding experience for faculty and staff
  • Increasing research opportunities for students who are underrepresented in medicine
  • Recruiting underrepresented populations for clinical trials and other research
  • Implicit bias and bystander training for faculty, staff and learners
  • Integrating DEI-related concepts into our grand rounds
  • DEI-awareness events focused on timely issues, such as LGBTQIA rights, racism in the prison system and gender allyship
  • Formal department participation in community events and outreach programs

Ultimately, our vision is to prioritize initiatives focused on advancing cultural competency with cultural humility to create an environment that fosters our ability to care for our patients and each other.

To learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion in the Department of Surgery, visit