Mount Sinai’s Department of Psychiatry, in collaboration with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, has established a psychiatry-specific, system-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee. Our 40 committee members include faculty, staff, and trainees, and span The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai West, and Mount Sinai Morningside. The committee meets twice per month to move the needle on faculty recruitment and retention, training and education, clinical services, and research.
Recruitment and Retention
The recruitment and retention subcommittee recognizes the necessity of having a racially and ethnically diverse faculty that reflects the demographic diversity of New York City. To that end, we focus on the following:
- Evaluating current departmental recruitment practices
- Helping tailor our department’s recruitment practices to ensure a diverse faculty
- Exploring barriers to underrepresented minority faculty retention
- Assessing current faculty of color work satisfaction
- Recommending and creating new interventions
- Developing ongoing reevaluation practices
The mission of the training/education subcommittee is to create an environment in which we are continually educating both trainees and faculty on social justice and diversity to improve equity and inclusion and to dismantle racism.
This includes the following:
- Recruiting trainees to reflect the communities served
- Educating on diverse populations and structural inequities
- Mentoring and supporting our academic communities
- Faculty development
- Addressing bias in clinical care and supervision
- Retention/career planning
The clinical services subcommittee recognizes the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical programs and their impact on the mental health and well-being of our patients and clinical staff. This recognition is rooted in the knowledge that racism, culture, and systemic factors intersect with and influence mental health and well-being. We believe that a consistent commitment to understanding and responding to these intersections is essential to providing effective and ethical clinical care.
With these considerations in mind, we are committed to the following:
- Continuous learning and promotion of cultural humility within our clinical services
- Fostering and enhancing knowledge regarding social determinants of health and how these impact our patients and clinical assessments and outcomes
- Improving diversity in our clinical spaces
The research subcommittee’s overarching goal is to promote diversity in health-related research, and to address health care and research disparities. Teams formed by individuals from diverse backgrounds are better able to address complex scientific questions through different perspectives and life experiences. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes a need to support a diverse scientific workforce to foster scientific innovation, enhance global competitiveness and learning environments, improve research environments, and advance research enterprises that promote participation of underserved groups by enhancing public trust. Our specific objectives are the following:
- Establish partnerships with key stakeholders in the community to better represent traditionally underrepresented groups in research, while providing avenues to improve patient care by listening to their specific concerns and areas of interest
- Facilitate opportunities for researchers and students from diverse backgrounds to participate in research
- Ensure speaker diversity in panels, symposia, and grand rounds.
- Ensure diversity in all groups with decision-making power
- Improve transparency and communication with research participants and the community
- Create a research environment (e.g., priorities, funding, opportunities) that allows trainees from diverse backgrounds to thrive
Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity Statement
The Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Health System firmly stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and against all forms of bias, discrimination, and hatred. From the #MeToo Movement in 2017, to the Commission on Unalienable Rights and Black and Asian Lives Matter movements of 2020, multiple spotlights have illuminated the role(s) of persistent oppression and privilege in perpetuating racism, discrimination, and sexism in our society. We recognize the ruinous impact of structural racism on the lives, health, safety, and families of persons who are Black, Asian, Indigenous and People of Color and endorse the apology made by the American Psychiatric Association for longstanding structural racism embedded within psychiatry and the legacies of sexism and discrimination that have limited health care access or quality, or biased diagnoses. We commit to changing this through the following actions:
- We will have open and honest communication about sexism, discrimination, and racism.
- We will develop policies that actively reverse inequities in access to quality psychiatric care, to education/training, research opportunities and representation in leadership.
- We will actively support the recruitment and hiring of persons who are under-represented in medicine and science to increase the diversity of our trainees, faculty and staff.
- We will work to eliminate race-based discrepancies in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
- We will redefine how we can provide equitable and exceptional patient care to all persons.
- We will ensure the training programs provide anti-racism education, foster inclusive and respectful learning communities, and educate trainees to provide equitable care.
- We will challenge the conventions and assumptions in psychiatry, psychology, and elsewhere in society that maintain structural racism and bias.
We acknowledge that all human beings deserve social equality, health equity, and fairness, and we commit ourselves to this vision. We understand that our society will be better when institutions like the Mount Sinai Health System continue to advance its efforts to provide care that is anti-racist, equitable and free from bias. This is our pledge to work on ending structural racism in psychiatry, to create just, equitable, and exemplary care for all of our patients and improve diversity among medical practitioners, staff, and trainees.