The Baylor College of Medicine School of Health Professions ensures learners, faculty, and staff are equipped with the knowledge, education, skills, and attitudes needed to provide exceptional culturally competent service and care.
The School of Health Professions is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty, staff, and students. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, and home to a vibrantly diverse mix of cultures, beliefs, and nationalities. It is our goal to serve this community through education, patient care, and research that is inclusive, and to reflect the population we serve. We believe that diversity enriches all of us, and makes our work as educators, clinicians, and researchers better. Read on below to learn more about the steps we are taking to ensure we are creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
The Health Professions Education Executive Committee created the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee (DE&I) in 2020. The subcommittee evolved from a multi-disciplinary task force that included Baylor College of Medicine deans and faculty diversity ambassadors from each SHP program along with representatives from BCM Human Resources, the BCM DE&I office, and Rice University’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology program. These members brought expertise in human resources, selection, research, and each program’s current policies and procedures.
In an iterative process, the task force created recommendations in five themed areas: Climate, Ongoing Support, Recruitment, Selection, and Training. Each recommendation was plotted on an impact and effort grid to easily identify areas of focus and the effort and resources required to achieve each. The outcomes of the task force were presented to both the SHP Education Executive Council and the BCM Inclusion & Excellence Council for feedback and review in early 2020.
With the endorsement of the EEC, an executive faculty driven DE&I subcommittee was created to assess and prioritize the recommendations. This subcommittee’s inaugural 31 members include multiple stakeholders, including: SHP deans and program directors, the PA program medical director, faculty, staff, and students, alumni, and representatives from the Department of Psychiatry and BCM’s DE&I office.
Themed Initiatives and Examples
|Selection||Diversity, equity and inclusion engagement in recruitment||Designate an interviewer on each interview panel to wear a “diversity hat” and ensure consideration of diversity, equity and inclusion engagement|
|Recruitment||A cohesive recruitment strategy||
Intentionally outreach to local high schools and colleges
|Training||Holistic admissions training and implementation||Employ holistic admissions training across programs|
|Ongoing Support||Focused mentorship development for SHP faculty members||Optimize mentor and affinity group alignment across academic units, the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and National School of Tropical Medicine|
|Climate||Diversity and inclusion training needs analysis||Identify training gaps in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, health access, social determinates of health, cultural sensitivity|
Curriculum Review Initiative
DE&I is taking a deep dive into all courses provided by the SHP to look for DEI gaps and areas for improvement within the scope of gender equality, social determinants of health, and ethnicity bias.
School of Health Professionals Student Photos
Being a female and wearing a hijab (religious head covering), I have often been discriminated against and my opportunities were limited. Not having a role model that represented me within my field fueled me to pave the path and empower others with similar experiences. Joining DEI committee was one of the ways I am able to do so. Being a part of this committee from its infancy allows me to have a place to share my ideas and advocate for change. I am excited for implementing strategies that will expand Baylor’s diversity and cultural competency to promote equal opportunities and minimize health disparities.
I feel so grateful to be part of an inclusive institution that welcomes diverse voices and places a high value on student input. As an underrepresented student in my program, I feel strongly supported and encouraged by the wonderful SHP and BCM community. I'm really excited to collaborate with everyone and see what changes we can implement for our program and institution!