Today’s Challenge: Building and Sustaining a Culture of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
By: Tyler Francischine
UF College of Medicine Dean Michael L. Good, M.D., held the dean’s grand rounds panel discussion Monday afternoon. The panel of five faculty explored “Today’s Challenge: Building and Sustaining a Culture of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity” with Sarah
Vinson, M.D., a 2007 graduate of the UF College of Medicine, serving as moderator. Vinson is an Atlanta psychiatrist who works with minority populations in her private practice and through work with the Department of Juvenile Justice caring for incarcerated youth. She explained the impact the UF College of Medicine has had on her career since her teen years, when she attended the UF Health Care Summer Institute, a program that immerses minority high school students in the world of health professions.
“I had never seen a black doctor until I met Dr. Parker,” Vinson said. “The Health Care Summer Institute was incredibly impactful. It all started here for me in many ways.”
During the panel discussion, Mustafa Ahmed, M.D., an assistant professor in the UF division of cardiovascular medicine and the medical director of the UF Health mechanical circulatory support program, explained the tenets of culturally competent care.
“Ask, acknowledge and attempt,” he said. “Ask about the patient’s preferences based on their gender, religion or background. Acknowledge their response and make an attempt to accommodate them. If I can invest some meaning into who this patient is and their experiences, I can provide a more therapeutic relationship. It’s about acknowledging each other’s humanity.”
Ahmed stressed the need for academic health centers to create what he calls “a forum for deliberate discomfort.”
“If we disengage from the community by becoming complacent with the progress we see, we defeat the purpose, which is to remain connected with the community we serve,” he said.
“If we disengage from the community by becoming complacent with the progress we see, we defeat the purpose, which is to remain connected with the community we serve.”
Mustafa Ahmed, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine