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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Blog

July 12

LGBTQ+ Health Symposium Shares Best Practices for Providing Care

On Wednesday, June 30, College of Medicine community members came together to learn best practices for providing health care to LGBTQ+ patients during a virtual event organized by the College of Medicine and Tower Health. Read more.

July 9

About the Women's Health Education Program

As the successor of Hahnemann Medical College and the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Drexel University College of Medicine is rooted in the commitment to providing a medical education to people who were otherwise barred from obtaining one. The Medical College of Pennsylvania was established in 1850 as the first medical school in the United States for women. The belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to become a physician is tied to the belief that everyone deserves quality health care. Read more.

June 29

Meet the Resident - Maryssa Lyons

Maryssa Lyons is a PGY-1 psychiatry resident at Tower Health – Brandywine Hospital. They are one of the lead organizers of Drexel University College of Medicine and Tower Health’s virtual LGBTQ+ Health Symposium, a virtual professional development and educational event that will take place on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Read more.

June 28

Virtual LGBTQ+ Symposium to Focus on Health Equity and Best Practices

Drexel University community members are invited to attend Drexel University College of Medicine and Tower Health’s LGBTQ+ Symposium, an all-day virtual event on Wednesday, June 30. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., presenters from the Philadelphia region and across the U.S. will share their perspectives as patients or as health care professionals, educating attendees about providing quality, equitable health care for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Read more.

Calander icon: June 23

"Trans People Deserve Better": Perspectives From a Patient and Physician

"As a fourth-year medical student applying to psychiatry programs, I knew my attendings felt justified in giving me every 'difficult' patient. Difficult could mean anything from emotional to experiencing deep psychosis, from withdrawn and offering little information to experiencing advanced dementia. So, I was unsurprised to be assigned a patient who was an otherwise healthy 65-year-old woman who had been snapping at and demanding of other ER employees." Read more.

June 10

Supporting Family Abroad During COVID-19

"In the months leading up to this phone call, I read headlines about the COVID crisis in India: the rapid increase in cases, conversion of hotels and stadiums into makeshift hospitals, dwindling numbers of beds, lack of vaccinations, hesitancy to get vaccinated when supplied … the list goes on. Then, more headlines came: India running out of oxygen, people traveling from hospital to hospital across the country, and crematoriums struggling to keep up with mortality." Read more.

February 5

Annual Celebration of Diversity Engages, Even in a Virtual Format

Diversity Week 2021 marked the first fully-virtual iteration of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s annual event promoting diversity in medical education and in the health care field. MD Program students from different student organizations came together to ensure that the week’s events – from trivia to panel discussions – provided education on diversity and championed equity and inclusion, even without the benefits of in-person participation and conversation. Read more.

January 4

Get to Know Raidizon Mercedes, a 2020 Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Winner

For Raidizon Mercedes, MD Program Class of 2023, being named a 2020 Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship winner was something of a full-circle moment. Read more.

November 24

Native American Heritage Month: Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte and Dr. Lillie Rosa Minoka-Hill

In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, we focus on two women who graduated from our school over 120 years ago, Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte and Dr. Lillie Rosa Minoka-Hill. Their stories bring historical perspective to two aspects of present-day American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health care concerns: health disparities in AI/AN communities and the need to create opportunities for medical careers among AI/AN people. Read more.

October 15

Meet the Leaders of the College of Medicine's Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we took the opportunity to sit down with current Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) co-presidents Gabrielle Allred and Diana Hanif Garces to learn more about the MD candidates and their organization. Read more.

July 13

'We Have To Do Better': Discussing Health Disparities With Dr. Ana Núñez

"To me, the physicians who are coming next are incredibly important in determining what the future will be. If I can contribute even a little bit to somebody in terms of their insight, their caring about a patient's experience and things like that, then that feels like contributing. If my former students walk over the threshold and the patient is glad to see them, we've done good. I think that's an important thing, and it's a privilege to be in that role." Read more.

June 29

Meet Til Kus, President of DUCOM's LGBTQ Professionals in Medicine (PM)

As we celebrate PRIDE Month, we took the opportunity to sit down with current LGBTQ-PM president Til Kus to learn more about them and the organization. Read more.

July 15

Meet Our Student Organizations: Health Outreach Project (HOP)

Last month I introduced you to our LGBTQ-PM Student Group and their president, Adam Dykie. For this installment of "Meet Our Student Organizations," I'm featuring our Health Outreach Project or HOP Clinics. HOP is a Drexel student-run organization that helps provide care for underserved communities in Philadelphia through free health clinics and related services. HOP co-chairs Ryan Godinez and Elizabeth Centurion sat down to tell me more about themselves and the organization. Read more.

June 19

Meet Adam Dykie, President of DUCOM's LGBTQ Professionals in Medicine (PM)

As we celebrate PRIDE Month, I took the opportunity to sit down with current LGBTQ-PM president Adam Dykie to learn more about him and the organization. Read more.

June 14

The Giving Tree

The month of May was a time of celebration and bittersweet transitions. The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion began Senior Week with our Senior Diversity Dinner, an annual dinner for underrepresented graduating seniors in the College of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies. Faculty, staff and alumni gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of these amazing MDs and PhDs and to wish them well on the next phase of their career. Read more.

April 30

Celebration of Remembrance

Many of you know that I just joined the College of Medicine family in September, so it took me a while to get used to the campus and find my way through Queen Lane. And while I could almost always never find a colleague's office, I never failed to stumble into the cadaver lab by accident. Frustrated, I would backtrack my way out and try to find the office I was looking for. That was the only thought I had ever gave to the cadaver lab—that is, until my mom passed away in early January and my siblings and I had to talk about organ donation. Unfortunately, my mom battled with a lot of infections in her last days, so her organs were rendered unusable. However, it made me think back to my stumbles through the cadaver lab. Read more.

April 16

5 Ways to Maximize Your Next Professional Development Opportunity

Have you ever come home from a conference feeling deflated and overwhelmed, instead of invigorated and inspired? If so, you're not alone. Greetings from 30,000 feet in the air! Thanks to the power of technology, I'm actually writing this blog on my plane ride back from the Program Director Workshop and Residency Program Solutions conference in Kansas City, Missouri. As I scrolled through my phone, it was clear that I had an amazing time learning from and connecting with my colleagues. However, it wasn't always like that. I used to come home from conferences feeling deflated and overwhelmed rather than invigorated and inspired. So how did that all change? Here are my "Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Next Professional Development Opportunity." Read more.

March 29

DrExcel Health - Demo Day

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but somehow my weekend has shifted focus from quiet days of reflection and rejuvenation after a long work week to shuttling my kids back and forth between science fairs, soccer games, birthday parties and play dates, and this past weekend was no different. As I was unloading the car, a large poster board tumbled out of the backseat. As I tried to pick it up without dropping anything else, I realized it was my 11-year old step-daughter's science project. Read more.

March 27

Remembering Dr. Bernice "Bunny" Sandler - "Godmother of Title IX"

When we returned from the Winter Holiday Break, I received some sad news from Joanne Murray, a colleague from our Legacy Center, about the passing of a former faculty member, Dr. Bernice "Bunny" Sandler. I didn't know Dr. Sandler and to be honest, I wasn't familiar with her work at all, but was intrigued by her distinction as the "Godmother of Title IX." I followed some of the links that Joanne included in her message and was inspired by Dr. Sandler's work and the role she played in our Women's Health Education Program (WHEP), which is now part of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Read more.

February 21

Happy Chinese New Year!

Although exams moved our celebrations back a bit, our Asian Pacific Medical Student Association decided to commemorate the Lunar New year with a dumpling wrapping (and eating) event. Although dumplings are a staple menu item during Chinese New Year as they represent wealth and prosperity, an old wives' tale shares their medicinal history. Read more.

February 5

An Interview with Dr. Ana Núñez, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion addresses pressing challenges, and fulfills the College of Medicine's goal of becoming a leader in developing the next generation of a diverse workforce. Dr. Ana Núñez, associate dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, has focused her efforts on enhancing the core missions of educational excellence, research innovation and outstanding clinical care. Recently she took the time to answer some questions about the office. Read more.

January 21


It was 1963. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, 250,000 marchers stood. They were there to address economic and civil rights, and to demand an end racism. "I have a dream," Dr. King began. Read more.

January 15

Happy New Year 2019!

Can you believe it is 2019? I can't tell you how grateful I am that Drexel gives us the gift of time during the holiday season. The entire University shuts down between Christmas and New Year's Day, allowing us to enjoy time with our family. When I return to work, I'm rested, rejuvenated and energized for all that the New Year has to offer. Until I dive into my email… Read more.

December 18

Reflecting on DUCOM Diversity Week 2018

After months of planning, DUCOM's Diversity Week 2018 went off without a hitch! I can't even begin to express how proud I am of the students and all of the thought and effort they put into this week-long celebration. From panels on refugee health, first-generation med students and doctors, and culture and medicine, to a milk and cookie movie screening of MILK, to our signature event, "Around the World," which allowed everyone to showcase how diverse our DUCOM world really is, there wasn't a shortage of activity. Here are some highlights from the week. Read more.

November 20

Transgender Day of Remembrance

The first Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) happened in 1999. It was created in an effort to remember those whose lives were violently lost at the hands of those trying to erase the transgender and gender non-conforming population. The movement has grown immensely, and what began as an online tribute is now an internationally recognized event. On Nov. 20th, many will observe the day by raising the transgender flag, reading victims' names and reflecting with a moment of silence. Read more.

November 11

This Veterans Day, We Celebrate a Long Tradition of Women in Service

I was at the Philadelphia airport just a few days ago getting ready to board a plane to head to a conference. After more than 23 years of traveling, I rarely pay attention to the boarding announcements anymore, but I knew that my "zone" would be called right after families and active duty military, so I began gathering my things as the gate agent invited members of the armed forces to board and looked up to see a young woman in uniform disappear into the jet bridge. I can't explain why, but I was filled with a sense of awe and gratitude. And then it hit me, Veterans Day is only a few days away and this year marks the centennial of the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and Germany. It was at the 11th hour on the 11th of November 1918 that the ceasefire would go into effect and end World War I. I couldn't help but wonder who were the women that played such a pivotal role in changing our US Armed Forces. Read more.

March 12

Celebrating Women's History Month

Women. We are strong, empowering and determined; we have not been easily shaken by the mercurial social climate. We instead remain steadfast and resilient. Women. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, physicians, astronauts, scientists, healers, CEOs and more. Read more.

February 15

Black History Month: Celebrating the Legends of Innovation and Science

When we think about science, we think of innovation, transformation and enrichment. Today, we benefit from the possibilities that have stemmed from technology, from Uber rides to Facetiming with medical providers, all with a tap of a finger. Who are these originators, the great innovative minds and pioneers of science? We celebrate the legacy of the black men and women who were fundamental in the advancement of science and medicine. Read more.

October 6

Physicians as Healers

Physicians are supposed to be good at handling suffering. Building the capacity to witness; to be steadfast in the face of it; to aid during grief and healing. This ability is a unique and challenging skill. No physician would say otherwise. We have to “be there” and endure. (Our private grief and the secondary trauma that we face as a result are important for us to address — with colleagues, family and supportive helpers.) Read more.

May 10

Remembering Maurice Clifford

Thank you for joining us in celebrating one of our very own legends in medicine. We have provided a special compilation of reflections from our attendees. Read more.

April 21

Celebrating Our Legends: Diversity Kickoff Event - Dr. Maurice Clifford Portrait Dedication Ceremony & Reception

On March 30, Drexel University College of Medicine celebrated one of our very own legends, Dr. Maurice Clifford, who joined the faculty of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1955. Read more.

March 8

Day Without a Woman and Why Does It Matter?

Today we celebrate ourselves, women and all gender-oppressed people of every background, race, nationality, immigration status, age or disability, religion, sexual identity, gender expression and economic status. Read more.

February 24

Celebrating Our Heritage During Black History Month: Legends of Today and Pioneers of Our Past

This year, we welcome Black History Month during a time of divisiveness and for most of us confusion, driven by the shift in political power and differences in societal views. Nonetheless, we cannot ignore the long line of historical events that continue to shape us all today: the resilience and determination of our ancestors and the diversity and richness of our culture. Not only who we are, but where we came from. In the midst of our uncertainty, let's take a moment to reflect on the legends of our time and the great pioneers of the past. Read more.

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