Dell Medical School

Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Introduction


The need for diversity and multiculturalism in medicine is an increasing concern as the US population becomes more diverse. These differences include both primary dimensions (e.g., race, gender, age, religious creed, national origin, sexual orientation, physical attributes), and secondary dimensions (e.g., geographic location, marital status, previous work experience, socioeconomic status) of groups of people within our organization and patient populations.

Diversity enriches our health care community as well as our life experiences. To achieve equity in the health care environment, our valued team (i.e. students, residents, fellows, faculty and staff of all backgrounds) strives to reflect the rapidly changing demographics of those people we are fortunate enough to serve. Our goal is to provide the opportunity for access to health care at all levels so that opportunities exist which encourage members of underrepresented communities to become actively involved in our health care teams while also ensuring that the communities we serve have access to the highest quality of care. We work collaboratively to address past, current and future challenges to remove barriers to success, to promote patient access to health care, as well as to foster a culture of equity and inclusion in a compassionate and mutually respectful fashion.

As part of our core values, the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in all of the four pillars of our mission (education, clinical care, research, and community impact). Every department search committee for faculty positions includes at least one person from populations underrepresented in surgery.


Education

The Graduate Medical Education programs within the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care embrace the opportunity to find ways of enabling people of myriad backgrounds to provide valuable contributions to Dell Medical School and UT Health Austin. We encourage a learning environment in which we respect and appreciate people from diverse backgrounds.

Our training programs strive to provide an educational environment that fosters the success of learners who are representative of the population of Central Texas in conjunction with a clinical environment that provides high quality health care to the people we serve.

Examples of outreach from our Graduate Medical Education Programs:

Clinical Care

The Dell Medical School Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care is honored and privileged to serve our increasingly diverse community, and deliver high value health care. The commitment to our community extends beyond medical knowledge and discovery. Having health care providers and personnel who can empathize, understand, and respect patients’ diverse backgrounds and beliefs is paramount in providing high value health care. We believe that delivering culturally competent care is a necessary ingredient for maintaining this promise to our patients.

Research

The Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care seeks to advance innovation from discovery to outcomes. We aim to include participants in our research studies that reflect the diversity of the patient population we serve. Diversity and inclusion are important to ensure that we can understand and correctly interpret findings for various groups of individuals and to understand how the health care system functions for all people. We also recognize the importance of having a diverse research workforce, including faculty and staff, to ensure our research questions and methods are informed by their perspectives and experiences.

  • As in our clinical practice, we use certified interpreters in clinic and have study documents available in Spanish to ensure that our patients who speak Spanish are given the same opportunity as English-speaking patients to participate in research studies.
  • We consider the importance of race, ethnicity, and gender when selecting guest speakers for our Annual Research Symposium, grand rounds, and other academic presentations.
  • We are developing a process for patients and caregivers to join in discovery not only as research participants but as part of our research team involved in study design and interpretation of results.

Community Impact

The Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care recognizes the importance of collaborating with the community to help achieve the goal of creating healthy communities, by putting emphasis on minimizing barriers to access to care so that all members of the community can achieve health and well-being. 

  • Stop the Bleed – Free training for the public on bleeding control for bystanders of emergency situations
  • Perry Initiative – Day-long outreach programs for female high school and medical school students to learn about orthopaedic surgery and engineering
  • Nth Dimensions – Developing a future pipeline program at Dell Medical School at UT Austin for women and underrepresented minorities seeking to pursue careers in STEM 


Perry Initiative | Medical Student Out-Reach Program - February 2019

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Meridian School Health Club - April 2019

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CREATEatUT | Women in Engineering Program - June 2019

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