Fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in science and medicine is an ongoing challenge for medical schools in the United States. Despite the increasing diversity of the communities we serve as a nation, we continue to lag behind in achieving parity in diversity among our faculty and students in our nation’s medical schools. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Diversity in Medicine: Facts and Figures 2019 report, in 2018, out of the total U.S. MD active physicians, 5.0 percent were Black or African American, 5.8 percent were Hispanic or Latino, and 0.3 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native. Further, recent data from the AAMC show that in 2018, approximately 13.57 percent of total enrolled medical students came from racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in medicine. In addition, while improving diversity in schools of medicine is important, even more important is ensuring equity and inclusion and realizing the benefits that a diverse student body and faculty bring.
At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), diversity in medicine and science is critical because it serves to drive institutional excellence, making our outstanding institution even stronger. Through the Mount Sinai Health System's Office for Diversity and Inclusion's (ODI), Patricia S. Levinson Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA) and the Center of Excellence in Youth Education (CEYE), we are well positioned to support the advancement of students (from middle school through to medical and graduate school) from groups underrepresented in medicine and science, and to foster the development and growth of excellent social justice-minded leaders in medicine and science. Further, we aim to advance diversity and inclusion at all levels within the School by directing innovative, enhancing, integrative, and coordinated approaches in education, research, and service with activities addressing the priority health concerns of the communities we serve. Our recently launched Roadmap for Action to Address Racism will help accelerate our efforts and successes.
Our efforts to date have supported substantial increases in diversity among our medical student body and our faculty over the past decade, making the Icahn School of Medicine one of the most diverse private schools of medicine in the nation—one reason why we were ranked No. 1 on the "Top 12 Hospitals and Health Systems" list of DiversityInc. 2018 and Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) awards in 2018-2020. We invite you to learn more about the programs we provide, which reflect our commitment to diversity, academic excellence, and, ultimately, to improving health equity.