Supporting Diversity – What does it mean?

March 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm

We are fortunate to live in a country where diversity and multiculturalism are viewed as integral parts of Canada’s fabric.

In the health professions, we are constantly working to address disparities in health status, access to health care education and services, and health outcomes.

How do we address that? To be socially accountable, the Faculty of Medicine is integrating diversity into academic planning, curricula and human resources. Also, we are promoting the principles in policy development, research and health care delivery.

The Faculty of Medicine recently passed a new diversity policy aimed at promoting and supporting diversity at all levels in our working and learning environment and to meeting the needs of the diverse body of students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve by:

1. Recruiting a diverse learner population reflecting the population we serve, :
• Recruitment and retention of learners from rural, northern and remote communities; aAboriginal Peoples; visible minorities; international medical graduates; francophone learners; and learners whose academic training and pursuits will enhance teaching/research/scholarship in the faculty;
• Reasonable accommodation in the delivery of academic programs and services to students with disabilities; and
• Supporting students with challenging economic circumstances.

2. Recruiting a diverse faculty and staff reflecting the population we serve :
• Avoiding unintended bias, and strategies for building a broadly diverse candidate pool.
• Ensuring equitable representation of women, Aboriginal Persons, persons with disabilities and visible minorities and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.

3. Providing a diverse educational experience for all students reflecting the perspectives and experiences of a pluralistic society :
• Discussion of historically underrepresented and disadvantaged populations; promoting understanding of health disparities;
• Curricular learning experiences in a variety of settings from small, remote, northern and rural communities, community health agencies to complex health care facilities and through student interaction in small group sessions; and
• Service learning experiences with volunteer and community groups.
4. Promoting diversity in research which advances healthcare needs of our provincial and Canadian population focusing on underserviced areas and also leads in the support of global public health initiatives :
• Sustaining graduate and postgraduate studies and supporting and developing the role of basic clinician scientists as teachers, scholars and researchers;.
• Diverse Committee Representation ; and
• Diverse membership among Faculty standing and ad hoc Committees, consultants, advisors and community partners.

View the Faculty of Medicine Diversity Policy.

How are we doing in supporting a diverse teaching and learning environment?