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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Our department is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment that fosters an inclusive, safe environment for all.

The University of Kansas Medical Center defines diversity as a state of being in which a variety of cultures, experiences, expertise and viewpoints are valued and incorporated into the fabric of our community.

Diversity encompasses age, education level, ethnicity and race, gender expression and identity, nationality, national origin, physical and mental ability, political and religious perspectives, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status and other human differences.

Diversity at KUMC

Our program is committed to the understanding that bringing a diverse group of residents, faculty, students and staff with a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences to work together benefits everyone and elevates the training we provide at KUMC.

We recognize that the active recruitment, encouragement and support of residents from all walks of life, particularly those underrepresented in the field of medicine, provides more opportunity:

  • for a broader exchange of ideas on innovative approaches to the practice and teaching of medicine
  • for more robust development of interpersonal and professional skills essential to providing the best care to our patients
  • for cultivating an inclusive environment that fosters respect and kindness toward all others, supporting each other in developing confidence in ourselves and our roles as physicians and members of the wider community
  • for the normalization of diversity in leadership roles in medicine
  • for mitigating the adverse impact of conscious and unconscious bias in our care of patients and our relationships with current and future colleagues

Program Initiatives & Commitments

As part of our efforts to recruit medical students from a breadth of diverse backgrounds and skill sets to our program, we are committed to the following:

  • Engagement of core Internal Medicine faculty during the screening and interviewing of applicants reflective of the diversity we strive to achieve in our resident cohort
  • Implicit Bias training of our faculty and program leaders directly involved in our recruitment process
  • A multi-tier application review process that incorporates blind screening to mitigate unconscious bias during initial review, along with follow up review to ensure our final applicant interview pool is diverse and inclusive
  • Active, on-going reflection and review of key data metrics to better understand dynamics, needs & opportunities represented by our applicants, current residents & faculty, institution and community to improve and build upon the recruitment and retention of a talented and diverse resident cohort

For more details on applying to our program, please see our Recruitment Process page.

To ensure the fostering of an inclusive, safe environment for all, we believe it is essential to intentionally incorporate and promote activities and events into our program curriculum that encourage the sharing of ideas, experiences, and perspectives of groups who are underrepresented in medicine and often overlooked or marginalized in society. By doing so, the education and development of our resident learners is enhanced, helping to prepare them to care for diverse patient populations and confront inherent obstacles and disparities faced by many patients wherever their future careers take them. Some of these activities include:

  • Friday School sessions dedicated to Implicit Bias and Safe Zone training
  • Conference/didactic credit for attending seminars, lectures, forums, and events related to diversity and inclusion
  • Membership of resident and faculty representatives on KUMC's Diversity & Inclusion Committees and Subcommittees
  • Provision of multiple methods and opportunities to communicate with program leadership about resident experiences, feedback, and concerns
  • Development of curriculum related to health care disparities and their impact on patient care at the community, national, and global levels
  • Opportunities for specific clinical experiences related to global health, transgender medicine, and healthcare disparities in the Kansas City community

For more information about our program's curriculum & conferences, educational pathways, & clinical & research opportunities, please explore these areas of the Program Initiatives section of our website.

JayDoc Free Clinic - every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday evening

Every month, residents can work with JayDoc, a student-run clinic staffed by resident & physician volunteers that provides non-emergency urgent and preventative care to the uninsured and underinsured populations of Greater Kansas City.

In 2019, our program partnered with JayDoc student leaders to make it easier for residents and faculty to connect with the clinic and volunteer. As a result, our resident participation increased exponentially to provide a total of more than 312 hours in service to patients in the community.

This year, our residents continue to take advantage of the opportunity to serve in this capacity, gaining insight into the challenges many patients in the community must navigate when in need of healthcare.

Community Conversations - every Thursday at noon

Throughout the year, multiple organizations across campus sponsor casual forums for residents, students, faculty & staff to share diverse insights on various topics of interest to our community. These forums cover topics in the areas of racism, culture, sustainability, wellness & current events.

Clinical Culture and Diversity Series - fall and spring

Sponsored by the Office of International Programs & Office of Diversity and Inclusion, this series explores issues related to inter-cultural communication in the clinical setting to help improve patient care and help KUMC become a more diverse and integrated campus.

For more information about other on-campus events & information related to Diversity, Inclusion & Addressing Healthcare Needs, visit the KU Medical Center's page for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Retention & Support

Supporting the physical, mental & emotional well-being of our residents is crucial to their success as physicians and our success as a training program. We recognize that our residents are individuals that come with unique voices and strengths, as well as unique challenges to overcome in order to be the best version of themselves.

Often the challenges residents are faced with originate outside their direct control, and it is part of our commitment to foster the diversity of our program by providing resources, support, and tools to mitigate these challenges as much as possible.

Some steps we've taken to ensure all residents are being supported include:

  • Identifying and cultivating mentorship opportunities between residents and faculty, as well as peer-to-peer mentorship, with special attention to shared backgrounds, race, gender/gender identity, and culture
  • Training our faculty, program leaders & senior residents in mentorship and coaching skills
  • Protected program time for individual wellness consults with our on-site Counseling and Educational Support Services
  • Resident Social Committee to organize social events in and around Kansas City for residents and their families
  • Resident Response Team to organize support mechanisms for residents facing personal or health crises, such as arranging volunteers to provide meals
  • Wellness & Social Lunches and +1 Week Cohort events scheduled throughout the year in place of typical noon conferences and Friday School sessions.
  • HOPE (Helping Our People Endure) Team faculty and resident volunteers available for 1:1 colleague counseling & support following adverse patient outcome events

More information about our wellness curriculum can be found on the Wellness and Resilience in Medicine page.

Our Health System Partners & Community

Our residents receive clinical training at three different area hospitals, which provide experiences caring for a diverse patient population. The cornerstone of this training occurs at The University of Kansas Hospital, ranked nationwide in multiple areas of care.

Recently, KU Health System was recognized for the second year in a row as a Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), based on the Healthcare Equality Index, for its practices in the areas of:

  • Non-discrimination and staff training
  • Patient services and support
  • Employee benefits and policies
  • Patient and community engagement

In 2019, KU Hospital and Health System served almost 290,000 individual patients in the Kansas City Metro, including providing almost $90 million worth of uncompensated care to uninsured and underinsured members of the community. These patient encounters involved over 44,000 inpatient discharges and close to 2 million outpatient visits.

Residents in KU's primary care clinics serve a patient population reflective of the diversity of the Kansas City Metro Area:

Patient demographics in primary care, as of August 2020

A metropolitan area of 2.3 million people, Kansas City offers the diversity and excitement of a large city with the charm and convenience of Midwest living.

Some of the highlights of Kansas City's diverse community life include:

  • A vibrant LGBTQ+ community
  • A plethora of festivals and events held throughout the year distinguishing the city's diverse culture, music, food and art scenes
  • A variety of areas and districts to explore with great offerings:

-- The Crossroads & Downtown KC (art & theatre)
-- The Plaza (Spanish architecture, shopping & food)
-- The Jazz District (a historical area commemorating KC's robust & continuing Jazz culture)

To explore more of what Kansas City has to offer, see our page Kansas City Information or visit these links:

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Internal Medicine
Mailstop 1022
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-6000
Fax: 913-588-3995