Experts offer insight on embracing diversity in the profession


Physicians have had diverse patients as long as there have been physicians (and patients). But diversity among health professionals remains elusive.

Dr. Amira del Pino-Jones, University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora

Dr. Amira del Pino-Jones

Can we do better? Absolutely, says a team of experts who will offer perspective to colleagues in a Wednesday morning session titled, “Best Practices and Tips for Developing Diversity in a Hospitalist Group.”

“The goals of our session are to review best practices for recruiting and retaining a diverse health care workforce, discuss strategies for dealing with implicit and explicit bias, and identify ways in which we can achieve common goals when working across cultures,” said hospitalist Amira del Pino-Jones, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, and director of the CU Hospitalist Scholars Program.

“Those who are interested in achieving excellence in hospital medicine through prioritizing diversity and equity efforts within their divisions, departments, and groups should attend,” said Dr. del Pino-Jones, who will be one of the speakers at the session.

Why is diversity important in hospital medicine? “Studies have shown that diversity enhances learning and work environments, promotes innovation, broadens research agendas, and improves the quality of care we provide for patients,” Dr. del Pino-Jones said. “In short, it is central to achieving excellence in hospital medicine.”

The session will focus on diverse groups, which have been historically underrepresented or discriminated against in medicine, including racial and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those with disabilities.

All speakers at the session are physicians, and each has seen or experienced challenges in diversifying their groups and divisions. “We hope to share our experiences, what we have learned, and ways to approach each of these issues. We also are hoping to hear from others and come up with new ways to approach these issues as a collective,” Dr. del Pino-Jones said.

Women and members of minority groups often have small numbers in their hospital medicine workplaces, especially in higher-level positions, and have trouble developing the critical mass to make progress on the diversity front, she said. Even when leaders recognize the importance of a diverse workforce, she said, “there is often a disconnect between motivation for increasing diversity and the ability to develop tangible, evidence-based methods that can be used to increase diversity.”

The session will tackle more than diversity at the workplace. Speakers also will discuss the relationship between medical professionals and patients.

“We will focus on the importance of inclusion and belonging, both of which are essential for creating a positive climate for all individuals,” Dr. del Pino-Jones said. “We will also discuss ways in which to cultivate cultural intelligence and enhance cross-cultural interactions between patients and providers. And we’ll look at ways to reduce and/or mitigate implicit and explicit bias in medicine.”

Dr. del Pino-Jones has no relevant disclosures.

Best Practices and Tips
for Developing Diversity in a Hospitalist Group

Wednesday, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Potomac 4-6

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