Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The Department of Internal Medicine Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Committee was started in 2020 by Vice Chair for Faculty Development Dr. Sharon Reimold in response to the murder of George Floyd and the proliferation and greater mainstream acceptance of the Black Lives Matter movement. REDI was commissioned by Department Chair Thomas Wang, M.D., to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in all the department's clinical, research, and educational programs, with a particular focus on faculty education, recruitment, retention, and promotion.
Achieving and maintaining diversity and inclusion throughout the department is fundamental to fulfilling UT Southwestern’s mission of promoting health and a healthy society that enables individuals to achieve their full potential. Studies show:
- Learners are more effective and confident in caring for patients when they train in a diverse environment
- Patients are more trusting and report greater satisfaction when they encounter staff and clinicians who look like them
Therefore, an important question before the REDI Committee is how to aim for, achieve, and maintain a diverse, inclusive culture and workforce in the Department of Internal Medicine. The Committee considers this question by promoting:
- A thoughtful use of education that aims for empathy and respect for diverse cultures and perspectives
- Promotion-tied incentives to foster collaborative peer- and tiered (from peer to mid-career to senior) faculty mentorship of underrepresented minorities
- Active vigilance that allows anonymous/non-punitive communication of perceived threats to diversity and any adverse effects of any vigilance program implemented
Doing this work can sometimes feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar. But enhancing a climate of inclusion throughout the department ensures that all faculty, staff, and trainees feel welcomed and valued.
Carolee Estelle, M.D.
REDI Committee Chair
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine
Zahid Ahmad, M.D.
REDI Committee Co-Chair
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Division of Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases