The Department of Internal Medicine is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion. We believe that diversity and inclusion are integral to achieving academic excellence and high-quality health outcomes. We also believe that having colleagues from different backgrounds and beliefs enhances the educational experience of our entire learning community. To further this goal, the hospital system has begun delivering programs in Implicit Bias training and Bystander training to staff, faculty, residents and students to foster a climate of mutual respect and value for all.
The Internal Medicine Department has convened a Diversity Task Force, led by our Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Kristen Hairston, MD, to evaluate these issues and develop a strategic plan for the department. The residency program leadership has joined forces with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Graduate Medical Education Office to support residents and fellows through their personal and professional development. Since 2020, the Internal Medicine Residency program has co-hosted and participated in the GME-wide Diversity Weekend, in conjunction with anesthesiology, emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery and general surgery with the purpose of increasing diversity in our program. During Diversity Weekends, we highlight our Internal Medicine Grand Rounds speakers who discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in achieving academic excellence. In February 2020, we hosted Dr. Quinn Capers, as our visiting professor, and his focus was on implicit bias training for faculty and the importance of diversity in the physician workforce. In February 2021, we hosted Dr. Kimberly Manning, as our visiting professor and her focus was humanism in medicine.
The Kennedy Hopkins Scholars program and the URM Housestaff Association offer mentoring, social support and professional development for underrepresented minority residents. We have also collaborated with our colleagues at Duke University School of Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine, and Morehouse School of Medicine to form a regional collaborative to network and provide support to underrepresented minority residents and fellows.
Wake Forest cares deeply about all residents, fellows, faculty and staff and supports many initiatives to reach those looking for mentorship. The Women in Medicine and Science office offers mentorship and leadership programs to support women faculty across the trajectory of their careers. Women of Wake is a new interest group developed with the Internal Medicine residency program to empower women residents through supportive relationships with women faculty, as well as through educational offerings. Wake Forest Baptist Health has also been recognized as a Leader in LGBTQ+ Health Care Equality and offers Safe Zone in Medicine training, which is an LGBTQ sensitivity training. An affinity group to support LGBTQ+ individuals and allies is in the development phase.