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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Blog

 
 
May 18

2022 Dr. James A. Batts Jr. Diversity Dinner Celebrates Graduating Students

On Wednesday, May 11, College of Medicine students, alumni, faculty and staff gathered at the Germantown Cricket Club for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's James A. Batts Jr. Diversity Dinner. The 6 – 10 p.m. event celebrated the achievements of the graduating students who are from groups that are underrepresented in medicine, and raised $13,500 to support underrepresented students’ success. Read more.

 
 
March 14

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

Prior to the recent 2022 Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National Conference, which Drexel University College of Medicine sponsored and co-hosted, LMSA co-presidents Justin M. Camacho, MBA, MD Program Class of 2025, and Julianna Kinsolving, MS, MD Program Class of 2025, provided insight into their paths to becoming physicians and the organization. Read more.

 
 
March 13

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

Prior to the recent 2022 Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National Conference, which Drexel University College of Medicine sponsored and co-hosted, former LMSA co-presidents David Marulanda, MD Program Class of 2024, and Edeline Sanchez, MS, MD Program Class of 2024, provided insight into their paths to becoming physicians and the organization. Read more.

 
 
March 12

College of Medicine and Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Chapter Proud to Co-host 2022 LMSA National & Northeast Regional Conference

Drexel University College of Medicine was proud to be one of four Philadelphia-based medical schools co-hosting the 2022 Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National & Northeast Regional Conference, along with the College’s LMSA chapter. The conference marked LMSA’s 50th year working to connect current and future physicians to help increase opportunity for physicians from communities historically underrepresented in medicine, and to help serve and decrease health disparities for underserved communities. Read more.

 
 
March 11

Diversity Week 2022 Brings Students Together, Teaches Important Lessons

Diversity Week 2022, the College of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s annual event promoting diversity in medical education and in the health care field, had a variety of offerings that provided education and championed equity and inclusion. MD Program student leaders came together to help organize a week’s worth of events in late February, with gatherings taking place online and in person on both the Queen Lane and West Reading campuses. Read more.

 
 
February 25

Conversations That Matter with Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, MEd, MPPM

In this interview, Dr. McCrea talks with Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, MEd, MPPM, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine. As the chief clinical diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Allegheny Health Network, a College of Medicine regional medical campus, she helps create an inclusive work environment and ensure that all patients receive equitable care. Read more.

2020

November 23: Conversations That Matter with Nathalie May, MD

In this interview, Dr. McCrea talks with Nathalie May, MD, an associate professor and sub-internship director in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Read on to get to know Dr. May and learn even more about her life and career in the latest episode of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's podcast "Conversations That Matter." Read more.

November 4: An Interview With Annette Gadegbeku, MD

Annette Gadegbeku, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine, and assistant dean of community health within the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Drexel University College of Medicine. Her academic interests include urban and underserved community medicine, adolescent medicine, women’s health and global health. Read more.

October 29: The Mother of Philippine Obstetrics: Honoria Acosta-Sison

In recognition of Filipino American History Month, we focus on Honoria Acosta-Sison, a Filipina who studied to become a physician at one of Drexel’s predecessor schools, Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, and then returned to the Philippines to practice. Her story speaks to the impact and effect of being born and living under colonial rule and how cultural assimilation can echo for decades. An avid researcher, teacher and physician, Honoria Acosta-Sison had a long and varied career caring for and advocating for Filipina women. Read more.

October 27: LGBTQ+ History Month: Implementing Advocacy into Medical Practice

LGBTQ+ History Month provides ample opportunity to celebrate the many strides queer folks have made, and to continue honoring those triumphs. It wasn’t until 1982 that the City of Philadelphia amended the Fair Practices Act1, the city’s anti-discrimination policy, to include LGBTQ+ folks. Although the queer community has made vast progress over the years, queer health disparities continue to persist. For example, in a national survey, about 50% of respondents reported having to teach their own medical providers about queer health2. In another survey, one out of three respondents has had at least one negative experience related to being transgender, such as being verbally harassed or refused treatment because of their gender identity3. LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness, which directly relates to health disparities they face later down the line4. Health care professionals are given the privilege and responsibility of upholding equity in practice, and this includes advocating for the safety and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients. Read more.

October 6: Let’s Talk Health Literacy

This year Drexel has its first club focused solely on promoting health literacy throughout the community. This club, Health Literacy & Community Partners, is founded on the idea of bridging the gaps in patient-doctor communication. Through studies and patient encounters it has been shown that health literacy is a social determinant of health and a major foundation in preventive health. Thus, at this year’s Community Health Fair we are launching our “Let’s Talk” campaign. We aim to spread knowledge through easy-to-navigate resources focused on preparing for doctor’s visits and “things to tell your doctor.” Read more.

October 4: The Challenges of Being a Woman in Medicine and Why It Is Essential to Keep Pushing

The question “Are you sure about that?” is one that I became all too familiar with. As an Indian girl with dreams of becoming a physician, I was constantly asked this question, and with each additional time, the words became heavier and scarier. At one point in my life, I was sure about my decision – when I used to dress up in my dad’s white button-down and use my play stethoscope to diagnose my family members, my decision was unwavering and resistant to any doubts. Read more.

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.

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.

2019

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.

January 21: MLK Day

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.

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.

February 21: Happy Lunar 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

2018

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 
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