Ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in cardiovascular training is foundational as we seek to train the next generation of leaders in cardiovascular medicine. Further, ensuring a firm and explicit commitment to anti-racism, anti-sexism, and action to combat all forms of discrimination and injustice is crucial to our ability to ensure a supportive environment for trainees, faculty, and staff, and to provide the best possible clinical care to our patients.
To that end, we reaffirm our specific commitment to anti-racism here:
Cardiovascular Division Statement on Anti-Racism: We as a division stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, trainees and students, staff, patients, and communities, in opposition to all forms of discrimination and injustice. We are committed to working to become intentionally and consciously anti-racist in all that we do, from education to research to clinical care. As cardiovascular professionals, we know all too well the ways in which a lack of equity in health care, education, employment, public safety, and housing impact cardiovascular and overall health among people and communities of color. These and other elements of structural and individual racism drive racial inequities that we must not let persist.
We work closely with leaders from across the institution on efforts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. See resources from the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Washington University more broadly.
In addition to our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain a diverse incoming fellowship class each year, the Cardiovascular Division has taken the following approach to DEI within our training program, focusing on supporting fellows, providing ongoing education for the fellows and the division more broadly, and collaborating with department- and school-wide initiatives to catalyze meaningful change:
Providing support for our fellows is paramount to their success as we develop leaders in cardiovascular medicine. Resources to support fellows include:
- Associate Program Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dr. Dominique Williams meets with fellows to ensure mentoring and other support needs are met
- The Washington University Minority Medical Association (WUMMA) provides additional support for trainees across the School who are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine
- The IMPACT program provides additional support for female fellows in the Division
- OUTmed provides additional support for LGBTQIA-identified fellows, residents, faculty, and staff across the School
Creating and maintaining a culture of equity requires ongoing education for all members of the Division. The Division has developed an educational program that includes an annual lecture series for fellows, faculty, and staff focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion that features speakers providing education on implicit bias, the history of race and racism in St. Louis, and racism in the workplace.
We are committed to training cardiologists to develop competency in understanding the social determinants of health, the impact of racism on health, and the relationship between diversity, representation, and good health outcomes. Specific educational sessions for the fellows focus on the relationship between racism and discrimination and cardiovascular health, the relationship between social determinants of health and cardiovascular outcomes, and gender-specific considerations in cardiovascular disease, including implicit bias.
We are also committed to providing fellows with the support and infrastructure they need to conduct high-quality, high-impact research in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion that can lead to meaningful change. Interested fellows have the opportunity to participate in research examining racial and other inequities in cardiovascular disease incidence, prevalence, and outcomes via the Center for Health Economics and Policy and Institute for Public Health, among other research centers across the University.
The time is past due for meaningful change in addressing discrimination and inequities within cardiovascular medicine and beyond. To achieve this, the Cardiovascular Division has created a Task Force on Anti-Racism in Cardiovascular Education that focuses specifically on identifying concrete short-term and long-term changes to achieve anti-racism goals. This group works closely with similar groups and leadership at the Department and Medical School level to coordinate the above goals and to ensure optimal coordination of efforts across the institution. This site will be updated with information from that Task Force in an ongoing manner.