Diversity at the College of Medicine

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) works to support the College of Medicine Diversity Statement:

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is privileged to be located in Arizona, a land of rich cultural traditions and heritage. Respect for diversity, defined with regard to race, ethnicity, culture, physical abilities, talents, language, spiritual practices, sexual orientation, gender identity and life experiences, is essential to the successful attainment of our mission to promote health and improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease for all the people of Arizona and beyond, through education, research and patient care.

The UA College of Medicine expresses its commitment to diversity by: 

  • Educating, training and employing diverse faculty, staff and student body,
  • Fostering the development of personal attributes in its employees and students that are necessary to achieve its mission,
  • Encouraging and supporting culturally relevant scholarly activities, that acknowledge and respect systems of healing that emerge from different traditions, and
  • Providing a culturally competent, inclusive and respectful environment.

This commitment to diversity enables us to provide state of the art education, deliver the highest quality health care, critically address health care inequities, and perform leading edge research to benefit all our communities.

The activities of ODI at the College of Medicine are based on the American Association of Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) recommendations in their publication, “The Role of the Chief Diversity Officer in Academic Health Centers.” Functions include cultural competency training for all organizational members, developing diversity metrics and processes to assess diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, diversity and inclusion strategy development, infusing diversity into the academic and clinical experience of students and language service initiatives.

College of Medicine Diversity Dimensions

In order to enhance the diversity of our academic community, to ensure inclusiveness in hiring and retaining qualified faculty and staff, and to admit qualified and culturally competent students, the University of Arizona College of Medicine (UA COM) has collaboratively developed and adopted a Diversity Statement, which demonstrates its commitment to a broad definition of diversity.  To implement that commitment, the college is engaging in meaningful outreach efforts to optimize the pool of diverse faculty and staff applicants, and to attract a diverse student body. The UA COM is making efforts to develop specific approaches to measure its success in recruiting, retaining and attracting diverse individuals to the college’s faculty, staff and student body by identifying certain measurable characteristics within these groups.

For admitted students, the specific criteria on which the UA COM is measuring its success in increasing diversity not only in the classroom setting, but also as these students graduate and move through their residencies and medical careers include: socioeconomic disadvantage, first generation college attendees, rural and US/Mexico border origin, individuals from racial and ethnic groups who are traditionally underrepresented in medicine, with specific focus on Latino/Hispanic and Native Americans. Qualified individuals who are registered members of federally recognized Native American tribes may be given additional support and consideration both in the admissions process and in granting financial aid.  Race, ethnicity and gender are not considered in making admissions or financial aid decisions, however, the COM considers these and other specified criteria in measuring success in terms of student and faculty retention, in developing culturally competent educational and development programs, and in liaison activities with community organizations.    

For faculty and staff, the specific criteria on which the UA COM is measuring its success in increasing diversity include growing the numbers of women and members of racial and ethnic minorities traditionally underrepresented in medicine with specific focus on Latino/Hispanic and Native Americans through appropriate outreach and support activities.  Although race, ethnicity and gender are not considered in making hiring decisions, they are evaluated as measures of the College’s success in widening its pool of qualified applicants and in retaining qualified individuals after hire.  These criteria can be identified by examining post-hire documents to determine whether the COM's diversity goals are being met. Additionally, the UA COM will develop surveys so that individuals can self-identify other criteria that fall within the COM's diversity statement.  The college also aspires to develop programs that will increase the number of faculty and staff who demonstrate cultural competency and bilingual abilities.