Creating Community

Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Medicine

Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Building Community and Diversity are central to the mission of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) in meeting the health needs of the people of Wisconsin and beyond through excellence in education, research, patient care and service. Our program strives to be part of the long-overdue and necessary changes to the medical profession.

Our mission is to develop physician leaders who are fundamentally invested in advancing health and health equity by respecting the rights, dignity, and differences of all. We are committed to promoting health equity, teaching cultural competency, celebrating diversity, and fostering an environment of inclusivity within the UW Emergency Medicine Residency and in the Madison community. Through teaching, discovery, and advocacy, we hope to promote equity and access to quality healthcare now and for generations to come.

>> Our Vision

In order to build trust among our communities and all who work in healthcare and to develop clinicians who understand the needs of manifold and underrepresented populations, we promote a culture that:

     Builds an inclusive workforce reflective of the patients we serve that embraces the diversity of identity, culture, thought and experiences.
     Champions longitudinal, evidence-based training in social justice and anti-racism.
     Educates and trains a group of ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse clinicians.
     Studies ethnic and racial disparities in healthcare, societal patterns of health inequity, and social needs contributing to disease.
     Develops solutions to reduce or eliminate these disparities.
     Cultivates an open, inclusive, and respectful learning and working environment.

>> Our Approach

It is essential to engage learners in efforts aimed at dismantling racism and other contributors to health care disparities. To this end, the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine will:

  • Recruit and support individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities who are pursuing a career in emergency medicine.
  • Foster new and existing quality improvement projects and research that will advance our diversity mission and alleviate healthcare disparities.
  • Assure the success and retention of a diverse cohort of residents and faculty through education and mentorship with both academic and community support.
  • Care for all patients compassionately and without judgment of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, socioeconomic background or any other human factor.


>> Department Initiatives:

The University of Wisconsin Department of Emergency Medicine maintains a holistic review process for residency applications. We will not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, religion, creed, arrest or conviction record, disability, disabled veteran status, Guard or Reserve status, and retaliation.

The Department of Emergency Medicine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is passionately committed to creating a community where all learners, staff and faculty feel valued, included, and empowered. While we have recently made great strides toward improving the environment in which we work and learn, we recognize that there is still much work to be done to fully realize our vision. Therefore, we will continually refine these skills until they become our first instincts, even in stressful situations.

The committee is dedicated to working in various areas including Education, Metrics, Leadership and Community Engagement. The committee is comprised of departmental faculty, residents, academic staff, and university staff to ensure voices are represented at every level of our organization.

Women in the field of emergency medicine face a unique set of challenges. This informal interest group meets bimonthly to discuss gender bias in emergency medicine, foster gender equity, and develop strategies for both personal and professional success.

While we have always aimed to recruit faculty with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise, we will continue to expand our pool of faculty who have undertaken dedicated training in anti-racism, social justice, and the development of diversity, equity and inclusion curriculums within graduate medical education.

Putting it into Practice >>
While we aim to foster a collegial and equitable environment for all learners and staff, we understand the difficulties applicants may face in deciding how well they will fit into a particular program. Or in deciphering the aptitude of a program's cultural competency curriculum or the earnestness with which a program is working to reduce bias and systemic injustices within its own walls and beyond.

Community is the basis of our residency program, and we strongly welcome and encourage all residents to become involved in anti-racism initiatives through whatever means most resonate with them. We are a community that engenders innovation, and we will provide you with the tools and means to address racism and other contributors to healthcare disparities, whether through getting involved with ongoing efforts such as those listed below or by developing novel approaches, quality improvement projects, or research.

Cultural competency curriculum

"We recognize the importance of cultural humility in our role as emergency physicians serving our community. We incorporate this into our resident didactic curriculum in order to equip our residents with the knowledge and skillset to best meet the needs of vulnerable patient populations. By focusing on implicit biases and stereotyping, health disparities, and cross-cultural communication, we aim to instill in our residents a lifelong commitment to providing equitable patient care and empower them to address health disparities and systemic racism."

Kaitlin Ray, MD, Assistant Residency Program Director
Working toward health equity

“We believe that improving health equity begins with critically reflecting on existing structural inequities that lead to differences in care. In that spirit, we are focused on integrating a health equity lens across the departmental missions of education, research, and patient care. Learners and trainees at all levels are an essential component in this equation, and we are committed to providing the necessary sponsorship to help them thrive in our community and grow into future health equity leaders.”

Ryan Tsuchida, MD, Assistant Professor
Providing compassionate and equitable patient care

"We work on a multidisciplinary team that helps us to care for patients of various vulnerable populations, ensuring that they receive consistent, equitable care every time they may visit the emergency department. We provide regular education to our ED staff to recognize disease-specific stigmas and our own subconscious biases and how to best overcome them to care for the patients we serve."

Hani Kuttab, MD, Assistant Ultrasound Director

>> Community Outreach

We strongly believe in the significance of servant leadership. Our providers and staff understand the importance of community health and seek to improve the lives of the citizens of Madison and beyond by engaging directly with the community, particularly our underserved populations.

White Coats 4 Black Lives Rally
  • MEDiC Clinics: EM faculty and residents volunteer four times each year at free health clinics in the Madison area serving vulnerable populations.
  • VotER: Our emergency departments offer patients, visitors, and staff the opportunity to register to vote on-site in our ED waiting rooms through a nonpartisan, non-interruptive voter registration system.
  • Annual Day of Service: Each year our residents spend one conference day collectively volunteering with a community organization in need, such as a local food bank.
  • White Coats for Black Lives: We support this national movement that aims to eliminate racial bias in the practice of medicine with the recognition that racism is a threat to the health and well-being of people of color. The UW SMPH chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) has created a local White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL) Chapter housed under the umbrella of SNMA.

>> Institution Initiatives

UW Health and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health are committed to building a culture in which the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded into all of our clinical, teaching, and research activities. Examples of ongoing initiatives and resources available to residents include the following; however, we encourage to you explore these and other opportunities here.

  GME Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
In 2017, the UW Health GME programs formed a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to assess how the programs perform in the areas of early outreach, inclusive environment and recruitment and selection. Previous projects have included the preparation and presentation of a robust summary report identifying diversity & inclusion “best practice” recommendations for GME programs at UW Health. Representatives from the Department of Emergency Medicine helped to found this school-wide task force, as well as founding and co-chairing the GME Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee.

  Employee Resource Groups
Voluntary, employee-led employee resource groups (ERGs) foster a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with our vision and goals. ERGs provide safe opportunities for employees to network, pursue professional and personal development and improve cultural understanding. These groups focus on the experiences and perspectives of our employees who identify as:

  • Black/African/African American
  • Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • Latinx
  • LGBTQ+
  • Women in Leadership
  • Military Service Members

  HEAL Program
The Housestaff Emerging Academy of Leaders (HEAL) Program seeks to decrease health care disparities by increasing the number of underrepresented minority physician leaders in academic practice. The HEAL Program partners residents with a dedicated faculty mentor who supports them throughout a 10-month program that includes lectures focusing on leadership and professional development.

  Centennial Scholars & Centennial Clinicians Programs
The goal of the Centennial Scholars Program is to develop faculty whose diversity enhances the quality of education and research at the UW SMPH, and who may serve as visible and available role models for students and trainees, especially those from underrepresented minority backgrounds. The BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine wholeheartedly supports this program and works with faculty & administrators to fully support participating faculty for work on Centennial Scholar-related activities. The Department is honored to have two alumni of the Centennial Scholars Program.

  Native American Center for Health Professions
The Native American Center for Health Professions  is located within the UW SMPH, with its vision being to improve the health and wellness of American Indian people by enhancing recruitment of Native students; improving the Native health professional student experience; establishing and enhancing Native health education opportunities; recruiting, retaining and developing Native faculty; and growing Native health academic programs, in both research and education, with tribal communities.

  Group on Women in Medicine and Science
Chaired by the Department of Emergency Medicine's Vice Chair of Education, Dr. Mary Westergaard, this group engages women across the UW SMPH to amplify the lives of women in medicine and science and to work towards gender parity in healthcare and science fields. The group also conducts an annual symposium featuring a keynote speaker, panel discussion, and awards presentation. Speakers will explore opportunities, obstacles, and strategies for success for women in medicine and science.

We invite you to attend this year's virtual Women in Medicine and Science Symposium on November 30, 2021 from 3-5 p.m. Register here 

  Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Designation
UW Health is proud to have been designated as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” in the Human Rights Campaign 2020 Healthcare Equality Index . A record 765 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2020 survey, and 495 — including UW Health’s three hospitals — earned the coveted “Leader” designation with a top score of 100. As part of UW Health, we are committed to providing exceptional and affirming care.


>> Additional Resources

At UW and UW Health, we strive for equity and are committed to being allies, to being anti-racist, and to hold one another accountable, while being open and respectful. Our work goes far beyond what we are able to list on this page, and we invite you to explore new and ongoing initiatives, alliances, conferences, courses, and other activities that serve our community in support of equity and inclusivity.