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Diversity and Inclusion

UC MSTP Diversity & Inclusion Statement:

We are committed to creating an inclusive, supportive environment of physician-scientist trainees and mentors with diverse backgrounds and identities underrepresented in medical sciences to enrich our health science community and best serve our patients.

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism are core values that are essential to our education, research, and health care missions.
  • We adopt a definition of diversity that embraces, but is not limited to, persons with different races, ethnicities, countries of origin, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, military service records, sexes, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities.
  • We are committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse student body, faculty, leadership, and administrative staff.
  • We implement programs that improve education on diversity, equity, and systemic racism to empower students, faculty, and staff to recognize biases, dismantle stereotypes, and advance inclusion and cultural competency.
  • We partner with efforts across the academic health center to promote a culture of inclusiveness, respect, communication, and understanding.

UC MSTP students come from a variety of backgrounds with unique experiences and aspirations. The diverse MSTP student community shines through their leadership and efforts to help underserved communities.

The UC College of Medicine provides a supportive and inclusive environment for all and welcomes diversity in every aspect of our daily operations. 

UC COM’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is very involved in working with various departments of the College, the Greater Cincinnati community and national offices committed to diversity in medical education. The leadership team also works closely with medical students to ensure that each individual reaches their greatest potential. The below listed student organizations are affiliated and supported by the ODEI.

  • Student National Medical Association
  • Latino Medical Student Association
  • Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association
  • UCCOM Pride (LGBTQ+ and Allies in Medicine)

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is dedicated to ensuring equal access to educational opportunities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The College of Medicine may provide reasonable accommodations to students with a documented disability. The Office of Accessibility Resources will work with students to ensure appropriate accommodations are made.

University of Cincinnati Notice of Non-Discrimination

    UC College of Medicine Names New Senior Associate & Assistant Deans of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Steven Kniffley Jr and Bi Awosika

    Steven Kniffley Jr., PsyD was recently appointed senior associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and began his role on May 8, 2023. Dr. Kniffley was previously the chief diversity officer at Spalding University in Louisville and an associate professor at its School of Professional Psychology.

    Bi Awosika, MD, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, has been named assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion with a focus on medical education.  She began her new responsibilities on March 18, 2023.

    UC Welcomes Assistant Dean for Graduate Diversity, Brittany Allison, PhD

    Dr. Brittany Allison, PhD

    In November 2021, the UC Office of Graduate Education welcomed the new assistant dean for graduate diversity, Brittany Allison, Ph.D. Dr. Allison directs all diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the Office of Graduate Education as well as leads the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF), providing training grant support, and serving as a liaison between the graduate office and the undergraduate Medical Sciences program. She is also responsible for providing ethics training and being a co-principal investigator for the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), which helps prepare underrepresented minority or disabled college graduates for entrance into biomedical science doctoral programs.

    Dr. Allison came to UC from Carnegie Mellon University where she served as assistant director of undergraduate research and national fellowships. 

    (The above text includes excerpts from the original UC College of Medicine Dean's List enewsletter on October 11, 2021.)

    Hear from Dr. Brittany Allison and from graduate students about diversity, equity, and inclusion in UC.  Watch the video!

    Graduate Education DEI Video

    Students, Faculty and Staff Embrace Transgender Medicine Curriculum in the College of Medicine

    UC has one of the most comprehensive transgender programs in the nation.

    Sarah Pickle, MD

    “When we were putting the transgender medicine curriculum together, it really wasn't being taught on a larger landscape. We integrated it into the basic science curriculum so that in the students’ first and second year, when they were already learning about hormonal pathways and sexual development, they were also learning about gender diversity,” says [Sarah Pickle, MD].

    “Instead of placing transgender health separate in a more ethics or social content course, we integrated it into the foundational science part of the curriculum,” she adds. “The idea was that we could then give students the tools, like understanding the physiology of gender affirming hormones, and also prepare them for inclusive conversations with our patients as partners in their gender journeys.”

    (The above text includes excerpts from the original UC News story on March 29, 2022. Click here to read the full story.)

    (Photo: Sarah Pickle, MD, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the UC College of Medicine.  Photo Credit: Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand)

    Spotlight: MSTP Student Shares International Experiences Through the UC College of Medicine

    Sandra Zoubovsky in Guatemala

    Written by Sandra Zoubovsky, MD, PhD:

    Sandra Zoubovsky“I went to Guatemala during February of my last year of medical school (M4). The trip was part of a global health course taken through UC in conjunction with the Family Medicine program at Christ Hospital, under the supervision of Dr. Christy O'Dea. The course involved 1 week of pre-departure coursework, 2 weeks of clinical field experience, and 1 week of post-travel debriefing which included a presentation to other UC medical students about our experience. The coursework taken prior to the trip included interactive didactics with assignments and live discussions. Topics reviewed ranged from ethics in global health, infectious diseases and nutritional concerns common in lower- and middle-income countries, important non-infectious diseases in global health, including mental health, women's health, and non-communicable diseases, and importance of social determinants of health in Guatemala. 

    During the clinical field experience, we worked, in partnership with the Guatemalan non-profit organization Wuqu Kawoq, in various rural clinics in different areas of Guatemala. We provided medical care and health education to indigenous communities with the help of local interpreters. Our clinic visits had patients of all ages with a wide range of medical problems. Upper respiratory viral illnesses were rampant, or as the locals call it "gripe", which basically translates to flu-like symptoms with a fever. Headaches were another common concern and somewhat correlated to dehydration and open wood stoves used in many homes. We also saw various skin conditions such as scabies or fungal infections, diabetes, hypertension, GERD, diarrheal diseases, and malnutrition. 

    As a medical student, I was actively involved in the care of our patients, under the supervision of family medicine residents/faculty members from Christ Hospital.  I obtained the history from our patients, performed the physical exam, generated the differential diagnosis and treatment plan, and presented the case to the rest of our medical team.  I was also involved in performing certain laboratory tests, such as POC glucose, A1C, hemoglobin and hematocrit, urine dipstick tests, and pregnancy tests, as well as working in the pharmacy to dispense medications and educate our patients on their use. Lastly, I was able to attend home visits related to an ongoing Wuqu Kawoq research project aimed at establishing a sustainable model of water filtration in the rural Boca Costa region of Guatemala. As part of the home visits, I helped the research team assess the practicality and barriers to use of two common point-of-use water filters and collected water samples to help assess their microbiological efficacy. 

    The highlight of my experience was getting to learn more about the people of Guatemala and their beautiful culture, as well as learn from the local community health workers about their efforts to ameliorate social determinants of health in order to improve health outcomes in the local indigenous communities. Through this trip, I was able to experience the importance of partnering with local institutions and communities to identify community health needs and create sustainable health care changes.  I was also able to improve on my ability to rely on information obtained from the history and physical exam to provide a diagnosis and come up with treatment plans with the resources we had available while still striving to provide the same standard of care we would provide to patients in the US. I would highly recommend this experience to any medical student interested in helping vulnerable populations around the world!”

    UC Mentor Program Established to Support Black Men in Medical School

    BMIMC Mentorship Program

    Over the past 40 years, the number of Black men applying to medical school in the United States has decreased.

    To combat this trend, a mentorship program, named “Black Men in Medicine Cincinnati (BMIMC)”, was launched in 2020 at the UC College of Medicine by Alvin Crawford, MD.  Dr. Crawford is a University of Cincinnati professor emeritus of orthopedic surgery, a retired UC Health orthopedic surgeon, and a founding director of the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

    The BMIMC mentorship program is aimed at helping Black men successfully complete medical school.  The program pairs incoming UC medical students with older medical students, residents, and attending physicians.  The hope is that the camaraderie, networking, and defined support system that the program provides will help ease potential feelings of isolation among Black male medical students and ultimately help boost the numbers of Black male physicians in the future.

    The mentorship program.

    (Photo: [left to right] Senu Apewokin, MD, speaks with Alvin Crawford, MD, and medical students Adam Butler, Austin Thompson, and Michael Deal.  Photo Credit: Joseph Fuqua II, UC Creative + Brand)

    UC Community Celebrates Pride

    Pride Event Images

    On October 12, 2021, Pride at Lindner (PaL) planned a UC community pride event called, "Loud & Proud on the Lawn."  The event included food vendors, tie-dye and other free activities, and a drag queen show.  The event was created to help foster an inclusive and empowering space for LGBTQ+ people at the University of Cincinnati.  The event was part of "Coming Out Week."  Other events that week included a "Social Media Spotlight" where the @PrideAtLindner Instagram account celebrated "Coming Out Day" and featured stories from members of the LGBTQ+ community, a PaL Partner Panel where Cincinnati LGBTQ+ community members shared their experiences in the workplace, an additional educational event where participants learned how to navigate conversations about queer identities to increase education and inclusion, and a day of volunteering.

    (The above text includes excerpts from the original UC News story on October 11, 2021.)

    (Photo Credit: @UofCincy Instagram account)

    UC Medical Community Responds to George Floyd’s Death


    On June 5, 2020, the UC medical community expressed its support of the nationwide movement, “White Coats for Black Lives.” More than 400 medical professionals and students, all wearing masks, gathered in response to the May 25th death of George Floyd. College of Medicine students and faculty were joined by physicians from Cincinnati Children’s, UC Health, the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center along with health care providers from other hospital systems across the city. College of Medicine Dean Andrew Filak Jr., MD, and UC President Neville Pinto, PhD, were among those who participated.

    The gathered attendees kneeled for eight minutes and 46 seconds – symbolizing the nearly nine minutes that the Minneapolis police offer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on George Floyd’s neck while he was lying face down in the street and handcuffed.

    “We are tired as a people and exhausted and sad, but there is something different about the death of Mr. Floyd that has united the nation, and today is the first step,” said Mia Mallory, MD, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the College of Medicine. “All of us have to be active, and we can’t just use rhetoric, but we have to put words into action. We appreciate the allies we have gathered here today.”

    Dr. Mallory urged the crowd to play an active role in solving racial injustice which directly affects the health of patients so many in the medical community serve. She also asked the crowd to remember the words of Mr. Floyd's young daughter, who noted, "Daddy changed the world."

    Additional photographs and learn more about the event.

    (The above text includes excerpts from the original UC News story on June 5, 2020.)

    (Photo Credit: Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.)

    Yale Ciencia Academy Fellows

    Camille and TammyEach year, the Yale Ciencia Academy for Career Development accepts 40 young researchers from across the United States to provide opportunities for professional mentorship, networking, and other skills to facilitate community contributions through science outreach. Yale Ciencia Academy’s focus is to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented or underserved communities.

    In 2019, MSTP student Camille Sullivan, had the prestigious honor of being recognized as a Yale Ciencia Academy Fellow. Camille is a graduate of the Cancer & Cell Biology Graduate Program, and her PI was Susan Waltz, PhD. In her graduate studies, she examined the mechanistic roles of the Ron receptor tyrosine kinase in the prostate tumor microenvironment with a focus on the antitumor immune response. She was previously awarded the NIH F31-Diversity Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Cancer Institute to support her thesis research. Camille is an active student leader within the MSTP Student Governing Council, previously serving on the MSTP Admissions Committee and as the MSTP Diversity & Inclusion Officer.

    In 2020, MSTP student Tammy Gonzalez was recognized as a Yale Ciencia Academy Fellow. Tammy is in the Immunology Graduate Program, and her PI is Andrew Herr, PhD. Using the Mechanisms of Atopic Dermatitis to Asthma in Children (MPAACH) cohort, Tammy currently studies the role of the Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis in children. In the past, she received the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology Chrysalis award and ASM’s Graduate Capstone Fellowship. Tammy also serves on the diversity committee for the UC College of Medicine.

    (Photo: Camille Sullivan [left], Tammy Gonzalez [right])

    Albert C. Yates Fellowship Program

    Alyssa SolanocThe mission of the Albert C. Yates Fellowship Program at the University of Cincinnati is to enrich the educational environment for all graduate students by supporting the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority groups who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents with high potential for academic success to graduate programs at the University of Cincinnati.

    MSTP student Alyssa Solano was the 2019 recipient of the Yates Fellowship. Alyssa’s current research interest are in nerve development and repair. To learn more about Alyssa and her interests and involvement at UC, read the Q&A below.

    • Q: What student clubs, associations, or interest groups are you a part of?
    • A: During my undergrad [at UC], I was part of the UC Research and Creative Opportunities Network (ReCON), a peer-to-peer mentorship program for students interested in getting into research; BEARchats Conversation Partners Program, which pairs domestic and international students to practice conversing in English and facilitate cultural exchange; Rogue Writers of UC, a creative writing group; and Yoshisu Dojo, which practices Chito-Ryu karate. I'm still an active member of BEARchats and Yoshisu Dojo, and since starting medical school, I've joined SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) as a peer mentor.
    • Q: Have you volunteered with any organizations in the community?
    • A: During my undergrad, I volunteered with Good Samaritan Hospital and worked on a voter registration campaign. [While in medical school, I’ve] helped staff the student-run MedVoUC clinic at Shelterhouse.
    • Q: Why did you choose to go into medicine?
    • A: I'm passionate about aiding and advocating for vulnerable populations, and among the most fundamental needs of all people is wellness of body and mind. Practicing as a medical doctor is a first step in a career pathway that I hope will transform the field to improve access and quality of care for patients of all backgrounds.
    • Q: What inspired you to pursue research?
    • A: I initially didn't envision myself going into research, and I couldn't have, if not for the guidance of and examples set by wonderful mentors and more experienced students. Once I saw what research is like, the amazing things we have the capacity to do, I couldn't envision myself in any career that lacked significant research involvement.

    (Photo: Alyssa Solano)

    MSTP Students Learn Medical Spanish to Better Serve Latino Community

    Pablo AlarconThe UC College of Medicine offers an innovative three-year longitudinal Medical Spanish/Latino Health elective that includes training in medical Spanish, didactics in topics related to Latino patients, and service learning at community agencies. While the course capacity is limited each year, numerous MSTP students opt to enroll in this unique educational opportunity, including Pablo Alarcon, Mary Bedard, Alex Feldman, and Courtney Linne. The elective is aimed at helping physicians be linguistically competent and more culturally informed in order to better serve native Spanish speakers who may encounter language barriers, and the larger Latino community as a whole.

    “I've really enjoyed [the course],” said Pablo Alarcon, “It's been very helpful in improving my Spanish as well as maintaining some of my clinical skills during grad school.”

    (Photo: Pablo Alarcon)

    Students Helping Underserved Communities

    MSTP student Courtney Giannini was part of a group of 100 medical nursing, pharmacy and other UC students who worked to open a free health clinic in Hamilton County. The clinic is designed to assist underserved and uninsured health populations, with the main target being native Spanish speakers who may encounter language barriers.

    Courtney GianniniUC medical students also volunteer their time with a variety of other organizations, including the following:

    • A Kid Again
    • Bearcat Buddies
    • Christ Hospital
    • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
    • Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
    • Crossroad Health Clinic
    • Girls on the Run
    • Golden Gloves
    • Good Samaritan Hospital
    • Hughes High School
    • RISE Coalition
    • St. Rita School for the Deaf
    • University of Cincinnati Medical Center
    • Women Helping Women

    (Photo: Courtney Giannini)

    University of Cincinnati Notice of Non-Discrimination

    The University of Cincinnati does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, parental status (including status as a foster parent), sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, military status (past, present, or future), or gender identity and expression in its programs and activities.

    The university does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on these bases and takes steps to ensure that students, employees, and third parties are not subject to a hostile environment in University programs or activities.

    The university responds promptly and effectively to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. It promptly conducts investigations and takes appropriate action, including disciplinary action, against individuals found to have violated its policies, as well as provides appropriate remedies to complainants and the campus community. The university takes immediate action to end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of any hostile environment on affected members of the campus community.

    UC is committed to the ideal of universal Web accessibility and strives to provide an accessible Web presence that enables all university community members and visitors full access to information provided on its websites. Every effort has been made to make these pages as accessible as possible in accordance with the applicable guidelines.

    The University of Cincinnati provides free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as qualified sign language interpreters and written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic formats, other formats). The University of Cincinnati also provides free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as qualified interpreters (call 513-556-5503) and information written in other languages. If you need these services, please tell any employee of a University of Cincinnati health program or activity.

    If you believe that the University of Cincinnati has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way, you can file a grievance with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access and/or Office of Gender Equity & Inclusion. You can file a grievance in person, by mail or by email. If you need help filing a grievance, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Access and Office of Gender Equity & Inclusion staff are available to help you.

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