Challenging TimesThis issue of Medicine@Brown comes to you at a time when we are still in the midst of the global pandemic that has upended our professional and personal lives and virtually every other aspect of society. At the same time, we are confronting the impact of anti-Black racism in our country and in the field of medicine.
At The Warren Alpert Medical School, a coalition of student and resident affinity groups has worked diligently to outline concrete steps we can take to uphold our commitment to anti-racism and social justice. My leadership team and I have been working to address these initiatives as well as to further others that were already underway.
In this issue you will find a detailed report of the steps taken to identify bias and increase anti-racism content in the medical curriculum on page 16. This is just one area we are addressing, however. For example, I am working with our clinical affiliates to increase the diversity of our faculty and to support recruitment of faculty from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. We also are establishing three new positions within the Medical School to ensure that all of these efforts are sustainable. Shontay Delalue, PhD, vice president for Institutional Equity and Diversity at Brown, was appointed senior associate dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Medical School on an interim basis to help us move these initiatives forward while we conduct a national search. We also are bolstering our efforts to recruit and retain more students from groups underrepresented in medicine through the standard route of admission.
Updates on our progress in all areas are posted on med.brown.edu if you would like to read more. I recognize the importance of this work and have made it a priority for the coming years.
Also in this issue we discuss how some of the research faculty have been leaning in to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. It’s inspiring to see how they quickly redirected their research efforts to help develop potential treatments and diagnostics. I know so many of our alumni are also engaged in similar research and are treating patients on the frontlines. I send out a hearty thank you to our faculty and alumni for your hard work.
Be well and stay healthy!
Jack A Elias, MD
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences