Diversity and Inclusion Commitment
The UMMC School of Medicine, part of Mississippi’s only academic health science campus, is committed to the education and training of compassionate, considerate, and competent physicians who provide quality health care aimed at achieving health equity within the state. We believe that the inclusivity of different dimensions of diversity is integral to our missions and we remain committed to fostering a climate of respect, belonging, and excellence in the academic learning environment.
To become culturally responsive to our patients and create a diverse workforce reflective of our state’s population, we concentrate recruitment and retention efforts on groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine which include: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/American Indian, rural, educationally and/or economically disadvantaged students. We utilize pipeline and outreach recruitment programming that provides pre-application counseling, academic preparation, pre-matriculation, and professional development. These efforts are sustained through long-standing partnerships and engagement with school districts and higher education institutions throughout the state and region.
Holistic admissions offers accepted and matriculating students a rich educational experience and brings forth new ideals and diverse perspectives in the learning environment. Academic support and counseling services are strong contributors of student retention. Students are also afforded opportunities to: receive generous scholarship awards; participate in service-learning and community engagement activities; hold leadership positions within their class and the University’s student governing body; be inducted into honor societies; become members of local chapters of national professional organizations; and attend national meetings. Student-elected diversity representatives are tasked with ensuring the interests of all groups within the class are represented, promoting multi-cultural programs and opportunities, and addressing incidences of discrimination or complaints about cultural sensitivity or inclusion.
The School of Medicine recognizes the educational benefits of diversity among students as well as basic science and clinical faculty, staff, and senior administrators. As has been demonstrated in the literature, a diverse faculty is better equipped to promote an academic learning environment that prepares culturally-competent physicians who are aware of and committed to addressing health disparities and care for patients who are from different backgrounds. As such, the SOM targets the recruitment, retention, and promotion of African-Americans and women among faculty and senior administrators. These efforts include support for early and mid-career faculty in professional development.
Our comprehensive academic program is designed to create a physician workforce to address health disparities, develop lifelong learners, contribute to biomedical research, and utilize technology to improve patient care and health outcomes. These goals support our mission of creating a healthier Mississippi.