Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

The 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, Courtney Collins, MD, 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:

  • Disparity M&M: Annual cases are presented during the Department of Surgery M&M conference dedicated to discussing poor outcomes in surgical patients that are a direct result of a social determinant of health. This forum is designed to provide a venue for educating faculty, residents and ancillary staff on the importance of social determinants in the outcomes of surgical patients treated at The Ohio State University. By providing an opportunity to analyze and discuss how nonclinical obstacles can negatively impact surgical outcomes, we aim for cases to provide insight into opportunities for change.
  • Integrating DEI topics into the DOS Grand Rounds agenda: The department continues its commitment to purposefully inviting Grand Round speakers from diverse backgrounds and lecture topics related to DEI-related topics.
  • Recognition of cultural/historic/religious events: Throughout the year, cultural, historic and religious events are recognized through email blasts (e.g., Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Ramadan, LGBTQIA, etc.).
  • Improving the onboarding experience of staff and faculty: The DOS department administrator meets weekly with HR to improve the onboarding experience of new staff in the DOS. Additionally, the department has created career development pathways for administrative staff.
  • Evaluation of our process associated with selection of residents and fellows: The residency selection process was reviewed, and we are now in the process of creating a rubric to integrate the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) “Holistic Principles in Resident Selection” to allow a more equitable assessment of candidates.
  • Website: The DOS DEI website was created and will be curated yearly to reflect the ongoing initiatives that the department undertakes.

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 medicine.osu.edu/dosdei.