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In May 2016, at the graduating ceremonies of West Point, Vice President Biden told the United States Military Academy’s Class of 2016 that “greater diversity will strengthen the country’s armed forces.” This truth applies to more than just our armed forces. At Brown, we feel we are at our best when our faculty, residents and students reflect the breadth of diversity in those whom we serve. Differences in perspective and background enhance our ability to empathize and thereby fulfill our oaths. Settled in 1636 by the Reverend Roger Williams, Providence was founded as a refuge from Puritan intolerance. It has grown into a modern, cosmopolitan hub with outstanding emphasis on the arts, culinary innovation, business, research and education. It retains, however, its legacy of tolerance, inclusion and diversity, in accordance with the spirit of Mr. Biden’s comments.
According to a 2015 Survey entitled Most & Least Ethno-Racially Diverse Cities, Providence ranked 16th out of over 300 of the most populated U.S. cities across three key metrics, including racial and ethnic diversity, language diversity and U.S. region of birth diversity.
Brown is part of that reality. The Office of College Admission at Brown University reports that this year’s admitted class is the most diverse in Brown’s history, with 45 percent students of color, defined as students who self-identify as African American, Latino, Native American or Asian. Additionally, of those admitted, 17.5 percent represent the first generation in their families to go to college, another record number for the University.
The Internal Medicine Residency Program at Brown, in alliance with our colleagues at the Alpert Medical School and Brown University, strive to promote a diverse and inclusive residency program and faculty, reflecting our community and welcoming diverse backgrounds and opinions. Such diversity indeed makes us stronger.
The Brown Minority Housestaff Association (BMHA) has grown in scope and partnership with the Alpert Medical School Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (ODMA). Furthermore, our residents have made significant contributions to Brown University President Paxon’s recent initiative to promote diversity and inclusion.
In addition to holding routine meetings, BMHA continues to send representatives to various regional and national programs to promote minority recruitment and representation amongst residents in graduate medical education. Moreover, visiting professors have led presentations on healthcare disparities and provided mentorship on career development. In fact, the BMHA inaugurated the MED Talks series (Medical Education through Diversity Talks) with GME-wide sessions on transgender health, the refugee experience and the Jehovah’s Witness community. These sessions will be expanded in AY 2016-2017 and have been supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The organization includes residents and faculty from all Brown residency and fellowship programs.
The newly transitioned Executive Board includes Chiazotam Ekekezie (President – PGY-2, IM) and Angela Martinez (Vice-President – PGY-2, Pediatrics). Eric Chow (Director of MED Talks, PGY-4, Med/Peds) continues to direct the MED Talks program and all things web-related! If you are interested in speaking with any of these during your interview/visit to Brown, please let us know in advance and we will gladly arrange an introduction. You can learn more about the BMHA by visiting the website: http://www.brownminorityhousestaffassociation.com.