On the Pulse: August/September

Admissions Sphere

Committee training is now complete for the 2022 admissions cycle and we are gearing up for the interview season. Our first committee development session proved to be an informative, inspiring and engaging experience for all. Relevant and timely presentations led to robust and thoughtful conversation. With members from both the MD and MD/PhD committees present we are encouraged and plan to harness the momentum to continue these sessions to learn and grow together. Learn more.

Clinical Sphere

In August, the Clinical Sphere reached out to stakeholders in the Department of Pediatrics, including Faculty, Social Workers, House Staff, Patient Representatives, Clinical Admin leaders, Nursing, and Child Life to talk about how we can help these stakeholders achieve their anti-racism goals. We have had several meetings already and will continue this fact-finding/needs assessment in the coming months. Learn more.

Student Affairs Sphere

Faculty Advisors met with incoming students at orientation and began the process of informing students about Appreciative Advising by describing the phases of the AA model to their learning communities. A timeline has been created for the faculty advisors to implement the steps of Appreciative Advising when communicating with students. This month they have focused on getting to know their students through the phases of Disarming (creating a safe, welcoming space for students) and Discovery (identifying strengths and offering affirmation).  Learn more.

Student Resources Sphere

In June, the Student Resources Sphere held a series of three equity lens workshops with staff and faculty from the medical and graduate schools. In July and August, participants will integrate techniques and strategies derived from these workshops in order to critically analyze their functional areas for equity barriers and opportunities and come together to report-out on their progress. The overarching goal of this program is to cultivate a community of practice in which participants plan and implement impactful and practical solutions that lead to lasting, equity-centered change. Learn more.

Student Sphere

We welcomed the Class of 2025 during this week’s Person-Role-System Orientation series. Additionally, we have completed the data analysis from our engagement measures added to the student council comprehensive survey. We are currently planning to disseminate the report to key stakeholders and in key spaces (i.e., Guiding Coalition, incoming and current students, Chats for Change sessions). Feedback from these stakeholders will guide next steps in strategizing interventions to address the outcomes from the report. Learn more.

Medical School-Wide

A working group composed of faculty, staff, and students has been assembled to draft a few versions of a new mission statement. Once composed, these versions will be shared with the Med Ed community for a vote. We hope to reveal a new mission statement during an upcoming town hall. 

In the past month, the Climate Survey team has completed the feedback process across all stakeholders (Medical Education and Graduate School of Biomedical Sscience workgroup), and compiled the survey questions into a master document that was delivered to the intended survey vendor. After several meetings with the external vendor, Viewfinder, it has come to light that this vendor will not meet our needs and we have been exploring other options including new vendors and hosting the survey internally. We have begun the process of pivoting and understanding logistics for all potential options an d are currently still on track to launch the survey in September. Learn more.

For more information about the on-going focused work within the spheres, check out the Change Targets tracker and our latest release of the RBI 2021 Action Update.

On the Pulse: June/July Action Updates

Admissions Sphere

We have had a busy and productive month, with one class about to start and admissions work for the new cycle under way. We have almost all new admissions committee members trained and ready to begin. Our inaugural committee development session is scheduled for August where we will take a deep dive on important admissions topics like Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Metrics and Letters of Recommendation. We see this as a great step forward in nurturing and further developing our committee culture of thoughtful and holistic evaluation.

We have also gained momentum in the planning of our pathway retreat, where stakeholders will gain awareness of what the various programs we as an institution have to offer. With this growing collaboration we hope to harness valuable expertise and resources to best prepare the future science and medicine workforce. Learn more.

Clinical Sphere

The clinical sphere has continued to work within the pediatrics department to facilitate the Chats for Change series to normalize open dialogue about racism and bias. We have completed the two part series of chats for change and have continued discussions around requests for future sessions. We are taking an intentional pause to reflect and strategize about next steps. We are exploring and implementing a survey around chats for change experiences as well conducting a needs based assessment with our original stakeholders. Learn more.

Student Affairs Sphere

Student Affairs has collected verbal feedback from students about their advising experiences. The feedback has indicated that students are not always aware of how they can utilize their faculty advisor. We are working with Leona to create a one pager that describes Appreciative Advising so that students can learn about the advising model that we have implemented. We will also have a new Appreciative Advising “timeline” that will act as a schedule for when the different steps of Appreciative Advising should be carried out throughout a student’s time in medical school. Students will learn about Appreciative Advising in orientation so that there is more awareness around how advisor’s support students. Learn more.

Student Resources Sphere

In June, the Student Resources Sphere held a series of three equity lens workshops with staff and faculty from the medical and graduate schools. Participants will integrate techniques and strategies derived from these workshops in order to critically analyze their functional areas for equity barriers and opportunities and come together to report-out on their progress. The overarching goal of this program is to cultivate a community of practice in which participants plan and implement impactful and practical solutions that lead to lasting, equity-centered change. Learn more.

Student Sphere

We have been able to analyze the comprehensive student survey data that assessed student engagement in anti-racist efforts. We are finalizing the quantitative analysis and planning to distribute the information to key stakeholders. We are looking forward to potentially conducting qualitative analysis to supplement the quantitative data. Learn more.

Medical School-Wide

The mission statement campaign is pushing forward. The qualitative analysis of the Padlet responses has been completed and will be shared with the medical education community. During this time, we hope to partake in engaging dialogue with faculty, staff, and students. Once completed and a series of new statements are composed, we hope to reveal a new mission statement during the fall’s anti-racist town hall. Regarding the Campus Climate Survey, our team (Med Ed and GSBS workgroup) has focused on building a timeline, gaining and organizing feedback from students, faculty, and staff stakeholders across Medical Education and GSBS.

We have met with the external vendor, Viewfinder, who will conduct the survey to organize logistical details and to set deadlines for survey question delivery, and communicated and tested technological requirements with the appropriate departments. We will continue to integrate and compile outstanding feedback from stakeholders into the finalized questions to be communicated to the vendor, and will then enter the testing phase. Learn more.

For more information about the on-going focused work within the spheres, check out the Change Targets tracker and our latest release of the RBI 2021 Action Update.

On the Pulse: April Action Updates

The Curricular Affairs Sphere aims to promote personal growth in antiracist knowledge and skills among course and clerkship directors. We developed this change target in partnership with students and faculty. 

The first steps included conducting focus groups and structured surveys of course and clerkship directors. This process helped us identify existing strengths and areas for growth as well as opportunities for and barriers to growth in antiracist knowledge and skills.

We then began to work systematically with course and clerkship directors to help meet immediate needs while also gathering data on barriers to growth. So far, efforts have included:

Admissions Sphere

The Admissions Sphere continues to expand upon conversations associated with our new change targets. We have enlisted the expertise of the Institute for Medical Education team for faculty development as well as the Student Affairs team to create a collaborative approach to review student outcomes and how they inform our Admissions work. We also continue to engage, discuss and collaborate with students on our shared commitments and efforts in Admissions. Moving forward we plan on communicating with our larger Admissions Committee members to re-engage and re-energize as one application season winds down and another is on the horizon.

Clinical Sphere

The clinical sphere has continued to work within the pediatrics department to facilitate the Chats for Change series to normalize open dialogue about racism and bias. To increase awareness and the reporting of racism and bias we have added a two part workshop to the series (first part on 4/30/21) that will provide additional education around identifying racism/bias and the compliance hotline.  Leading up to this workshop, we are sent out a survey to elicit case examples of racism and bias in the clinical environment from members of the department. These cases will be used for the Breakout Group discussions, so real-life examples can be discussed. We have created a communication plan on how to better inform members of the Department of Pediatrics and other involved parties of our updates by identifying point people/stakeholders who can distribute emails with updates.

Curricular Affairs Sphere

The Curricular Affairs Sphere has met with affinity group students and community leaders around the proposed Medical Education Program Objective (MEPO) that focuses on the development of medical student knowledge, skills, and attitudes around mitigating bias and racism.  For April, faculty, staff, and leadership within Med Ed will be asked to provide feedback.  The goal is to launch the new MEPO for the 2021-22 academic year.  The Curricular Affairs Sphere is continuing to develop a comprehensive inventory of all current curricula on race and racism, with the intent of identifying thematic threads and ensuring they all have theoretically sound educational frameworks.   Next steps include identifying gaps and redundancies.

Student Affairs Sphere

We have met with the Student Sphere to build a stronger working relationship between our spheres. They were able to provide us insightful feedback about how we can solicit feedback from students regarding advising practices which will help us to know if our change target is making a positive impact. Tara and Daniel also continue to meet with Leona on a bi-weekly basis to map out our May Appreciative Advising meetings which will allow our advisors to build a stronger community among one another and will help them have a greater understanding of why we are using appreciative advising as our advising model.

Student Resources Sphere

The Student Resources Sphere has identified staff throughout the Department of Medical Education to be “equity champions”. Equity champions will participate in a six-part workshop beginning in May. Members of the ISMMS Advisory Committee on Campus Safety are now invited to join. Additionally, Student Resources is also moving forward with plans to fund student research related to racism and bias. Lastly, Student Resources will be working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on developing a staff survey on experiencing racism and bias at work.

Student Sphere

In collaboration with Student Council, the student sphere has released its engagement questionnaire as part of the comprehensive student survey to the study body. We have also worked with the Guiding Coalition to discuss and plan next steps for the Mission Statement revision. We are continuing to hold monthly racial healing circles and work on the Participatory Decision-Making strategies for the implementation of the MSHS Task Force interventions or action to address racism.

Medical School-Wide

The culture and climate survey workgroup has started to review and assess existing surveys that have been implemented at other institutions. We are excited to report that the entire ISMMS will participate in the survey, which will result in data that can be used to inform interventions in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Medical School. 

Our mission statement campaign is entering the next phase. We dedicated time during a Guiding Coalition meeting to reflect on the very wide range of responses. The Student Sphere also conducted a meeting to discuss the responses. The data from the Padlet will undergo a qualitative analysis by an external expert and will be shared in a community-wide forum to allow for reflection prior to the creation of a revised statement. 

The next Unity in Action Town Hall is scheduled in August for the start of the new academic year and will focus on the experiences with racism of Native Americans and people who identify as AAPI.

For more information about the on-going focused work within the spheres, check out the Change Targets tracker and our latest release of the RBI April 2021 Action Update.

Towards Transformational Change: 2021 Guiding Coalition Change Targets

The Guiding Coalition is launching twenty change targets this year. This is the first year we have created a comprehensive strategy that includes all of the actions or projects addressing racism in bias across the medical school. A tremendous amount of work and strategy went into planning to ensure we are working collaboratively.

Let us know what you think of the 2021 change targets. Share your comments and feedback.

To learn more about the Guiding Coalition’s approach to developing the Comprehensive, Strategic Plan for 2021 to address racism across all functional areas of the School.

What's a Change Target?

A change target is an incremental desired outcome or end result of the Guiding Coalition’s actions that strategically leads the school towards the Racism and Bias Initiative’s vision to become a health system and health professions school with the most diverse workforce, providing health care and education that is free of racism and bias. Although our journey of transformation is guided by our vision, each year we revisit and revise our change targets because transformational change is largely determined through trial and error as new information is gathered. This is why we course-correct throughout the year as the change process emerges. Each month we will continue to share action updates on our progress.

The structure of the Guiding Coalition allows us to leverage and work with twelve different stakeholders (see graphic below) to ensure we are addressing racism across all of the functional areas of the medical school. This year we are excited to include even more students in the process.

Many of the change targets build on the success of last year’s change targets that focused on training the admissions committee, engaging the pediatrics department in Chats for Change, facilitating growth in personal awareness and anti-racist knowledge and skills among course directors, and working with student advisors on an appreciative advising model. We are also introducing new change targets this year to broaden the scope of the work by creating a new Medical Education Program Objectives (MEPO), rolling out a new equity playbook, strengthening and building new admissions pathways, understanding barriers and mediators around student participation in addressing racism, compensating students for anti-racism work, learning about staff experience encountering racism and bias at work, and much more. 

Below you will find the Guiding Coalition’s change targets organized by sphere and school-wide projects. Check out the progress tracker to learn more about the objectives or steps each sphere will take towards achieving each change target.

Admissions Sphere

  1. Further educate committee members to engage in admissions work from a lens of equity.
  2. Reflect on and broaden the education and training of the admissions committee to continually engage in admissions work from an equity lens.
  3. Strengthen and explore existing relationships with schools/organizations/programs in order to enhance existing admissions pathways and brainstorm about new pathways specifically for students from backgrounds underrepresented in science and medicine to matriculate to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  4. Establish partnerships with the Assessment and Evaluation team and the Student Affairs team to track aggregate student outcome data (academic and professionalism) to better inform Admissions work

 

Clinical Sphere

  1. Using an interprofessional lens, establishing and maintaining an environment across the Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) that allows reporting of racism and bias to be empowering, safe, accountable to the community, anti-racist, provides remediation where needed, and closes the loop by providing feedback to the community.

Curricular Affairs

  1. Create a new Medical Education Program Objectives (MEPO) that addresses racism and bias.
  2. Increase the diversity of the standardized patient (SP) population to better reflect the race/ethnicity make-up of the patient population.
  3. Develop a standardized patient session on navigating racist patients or colleagues during clinical encounters, both as a URiSM student and an ally.
  4. Diversify patient representation of black and marginalized individuals in settings not limited to lecture images, symptom presentation, and case examples across all four years of the curriculum.
  5. Identify the role of SES, race, & gender on student scholarly outcomes/products (Scholarly Year, conference presentations, Distinction in Research and other awards) to enhance equity in scholarship.
  6. Growth in personal awareness and anti-racist knowledge and skills among course and clerkship directors who are front-line voices to students and faculty.

Student Sphere

  1. To understand barriers and mediators around and to develop potential interventions to increase student participation in addressing racism.

Student Affairs Sphere

  1. Adopt and support advising practices by Faculty Advisors that actively address racism, promote equity and improve trust among students and Student Affairs.

Student Resources Sphere

  1. Develop and implement an equity lens playbook, a tool for equitable decision-making across the Department of Medical Education.
  2. Compensate students for scholarly work related to racism and bias.
  3. Engage the ISMMS Advisory Committee on Campus Safety in identifying and addressing issues related to racism and bias.
  4. Learn about staff experience encountering racism and bias at work.

Medical School-Wide Initiatives

  1. Create a mission statement for medical education reflects our stance on denouncing racism and our commitment to racial justice.
  2. Conduct quarterly town hall meetings across the Medical and Grad Schools that aim to process, update, and coordinate responses to current events and community needs as they relate to racism and bias.
  3. Conduct a climate survey with faculty, staff, and students in the medical school and identify areas for intervention.

 

On the Pulse: A Global Sphere Update

The Curricular Affairs Sphere aims to promote personal growth in antiracist knowledge and skills among course and clerkship directors. We developed this change target in partnership with students and faculty. 

The first steps included conducting focus groups and structured surveys of course and clerkship directors. This process helped us identify existing strengths and areas for growth as well as opportunities for and barriers to growth in antiracist knowledge and skills.

We then began to work systematically with course and clerkship directors to help meet immediate needs while also gathering data on barriers to growth. So far, efforts have included:

Admissions Sphere

The Admissions sphere has expanded our team over the last month. We have started to plan out and work on our updated and additional change targets. We are reinvigorated and plan to build on our work, learning from each other on the Admissions Committee. Partnering with the MD/PhD program and ODI we look to grow our efforts on ongoing training and education of the Admissions Committee, enhancing admissions pathways and formalizing review of student outcomes to better inform our Admissions work.

Clinical Sphere

In the last month, we hosted a Pediatric Chats for Change (co-facilitated by a member from our sphere and a pediatric staff) that led to a strong discussion about the dynamics of breakout groups, including allied only spaces vs BIPOC spaces. We have continued to plan for 1 more Chats for Change session (Feb) and a topic specific workshop (March), which would create 6 total sessions for the department. We have been updating our working group spreadsheet weekly to develop and reflect on our SMART goals. We will no longer be working with psychiatry as their department leadership is actively working on their own internal initiatives. Opportunities have come up to work with specific departments within pediatrics (eg meeting 2/26 with child life specialists and social work to discuss ideas for combating bias towards patients with sickle cell disease) and OB.  Regarding the mistreatment reports, a meeting was held with external consultants from Vanderbilt and a proposed plan for a mistreatment committee was created.

Curricular Affairs Sphere

In February, the Curricular Affairs Sphere developed a comprehensive plan for our 2021 efforts, including refining our change targets and defining our organizational structure.  We met with SNMA leadership to share this progress and incorporate their feedback.  We are nearing completion of a comprehensive inventory of all current curricula focused on race and racism.  This will help us identify gaps and redundancies in the current MD program curriculum.  

In partnership with students, faculty, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and patient and community representatives we are analyzing this inventory and developing a curriculum map.  To guide this process we developed a draft Medical Education Program Objective (MEPO) that addresses racism and bias: “Recognize and develop approaches to mitigate bias, social inequities, and systemic racism that undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at individual, organizational, and societal levels.”  Our team is now soliciting feedback on this MEPO, and will present it and the Curriculum Map to the Course Directors and Clinical Curriculum Subcommittees upon completion.  Final approval and inclusion of the MEPO will occur with the Executive Oversight Committee prior to the 2021-22 academic year.

An analysis of current recruitment and retention practices is also ongoing, with current auditions specifically calling for SPs of color. Finally, our sphere is engaging Course Directors to diversify the representation of Black and marginalized individuals in their curricular materials as well as in patient presentations.  We have identified multiple external resources and are working with faculty and students develop additional resources to meet the unique needs of our curriculum.  We are grateful for the collaboration across multiple teams and offices to move our change targets forward.

Student Affairs Sphere

We have appointed Daniel as our administrative leader.  He will attend weekly advising team meetings.  He will collaborate with Tara and Leona to build faculty development workshops for the advisors taking place in May as well as provide case-based instruction for faculty development. An invitation has been sent to the Student Sphere to meet in March and collaborate to build an evaluative process that includes year to year data and possible on-the-spot advising feedback. The team is also searching for literature for scholarly work.

Student Resources Sphere

The Student Resources will be identifying equity champions and holding a kickoff equity champions to determine processes and practices for equitable decision-making. Student Resources is also moving forward with plans to fund student research related to racism and bias. Additionally, the group will be engaging the Safety Committee, a group that includes students, security personnel, and senior leadership, in identifying safety issues related to racism and bias. Lastly, Student Resources will be developing a staff survey on experiencing racism and bias at work.

Student Sphere

The Student Sphere has finalized 9 questions about anti-racism engagement to be included in Student Council’s comprehensive survey. Results are anticipated May/June 2021. We are continuing to hold monthly racial healing circles and work on the Participatory Decision-Making strategies for the implementation of the MSHS Task Force interventions or action to address racism.

Medical School-Wide

Dr. Muller, staff and students collaborated to develop a department-wide campaign, “Mission: Make a Statement” to update the Med Ed mission statement so that it explicitly denounces racism and commits to racial justice. From now through Friday, March 26, the department is collecting responses and feedback. Visit Padlet and upload anything that will help us shape the new mission statement.

Deans Muller and Filizola committed to a series of quarterly town halls where students, faculty and staff can process, update and coordinate responses to current events and community needs as they relate to racism and bias. The purpose of the Unit In Action town halls is to provide an ongoing forum whereby members of the ISMSS community can engage in conversations that are responsive to the myriad and intersecting ways that oppression and disenfranchisement impacts our institution and daily lives.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Racism and Bias Initiative are partnering to plan for the development of a department-wide culture and climate survey with faculty, staff, and students in medical school and identify potential opportunities for change.

For more information about the on-going focused work within the spheres, check out the Change Targets tracker and our latest release of the RBI March 2021 Action Update.