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Call from IU School of Medicine leaders for student participation on racism and equity task forces

three people around a table with checkmark in middle

Dean Jay Hess has charged an executive oversight team to address racism and equity at IU School of Medicine. This team includes Patricia Treadwell, MD, Special Advisor to the Dean and Chief Diversity Officer; Mary Dankoski, PhD, Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity; Paul Wallach, MD, Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Institutional Improvement; and Alvaro Tori, MD, Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs. Task forces are being developed that will include members from multiple stakeholder groups, including students. The executive oversight team is asking for volunteers through a peer and self-nomination process.

Please consider participating in this critical initiative. There will be a more formal announcement from Dean Hess soon as well as details about number of meetings, dates, and times. The executive oversight team understands that students might not be able to attend all meetings due to school schedules and hopes students will seriously consider this opportunity to advance crucial work at the School.

There are three current task forces detailed below, and students can indicate their preference by filling out this survey. The deadline to indicate your preference is 12 pm EDT on Friday, July 31.

Data and Climate Survey Task Force

  • Review existing data on the state of representational diversity and climate at IU School of Medicine.
  • Review literature and best practices on climate assessments in academic medicine.
  • Make a recommendation on additional surveys or other methods to measure the climate.

Faculty, Staff, and Learner Training Task Force

  • Catalogue current required and/or optional training opportunities for faculty, staff, and IU School of Medicine learners of all types on the topics of unconscious bias, microaggressions, cultural humility, bystander interventions, and professionalism.
  • Provide a recommendation on any other topics that should be required or optional training opportunities for faculty, staff, and IU School of Medicine learners.
  • Evaluate the evidence regarding effective training models for faculty, staff, and learners on these topics through a review of the published literature and best practices.

Honor Code Task Force

  • Review existing policies across IU and IU School of Medicine regarding professional conduct for faculty, staff, and learners to understand the nature and scope of behaviors, remediation approaches, and allowable sanctions as governed in current policy.
  • Review data on mistreatment, professionalism competencies areas of concern, and Exemplar of Professionalism Honor Roll nominations as indicators of current state
  • Review literature and best practices on professionalism initiatives at other academic medicine centers.
  • Revise the current IU School of Medicine. Honor Code to update and align the language with other policies and to reflect the full scope of professional conduct expectations held for members of the IUSM community.
  • Create educational materials and resources to address frequently asked questions such as freedom of speech in a professional context, and expectations in personal spheres such as the use of social media.
  • Propose and clarify remediation pathways and sanctions for faculty, staff, and learners when lapses in professionalism and Honor Code violations occur.
  • Develop a dissemination and assessment plan for the initiative.

Education Task Forces

Three more task force groups will be assembled in the very near future to address the medical school curriculum.