Build & Belong

Through a range of educational events and curricular support, the medical school’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion seeks to nurture school culture that enables diversity to thrive, and to build a community in which everyone feels they belong. 

“Diversity and inclusion are central to our mission of cura personalis,” explains Susan Cheng, the office’s senior associate dean. “We’re committed to creating spaces for people to dialogue and come together as a community.”

In addition to housing the GEMS program, partnering with student organizations, and advising on unconscious bias awareness, the office regularly hosts educational events. The monthly Health Equity Forum examines both local and national topics related to health disparities. This past year, it looked at issues as wide-ranging as reducing mental illness stigma to transgendered health in the United States military health system.

The office works with organizations across the university to address issues of racism and inclusion. As part of Georgetown’s Martin Luther King Jr. “Let Freedom Ring!” initiative, Cheng’s team co-sponsored a dynamic panel of D.C.-area physicians (including several alumni) to discuss “What a Doctor Looks Like.” The office launched Diversity Dialogues in Medicine, a peer education and community building program to help students learn about issues of diversity, intersections of identity, and intergroup dynamics.

Looking ahead, the office is committed to deepening and expanding its work. Says Cheng, “Our goal is to open up more opportunities for dialogue and reflection on these issues. And we also support medical school faculty and staff to connect and thrive in our diverse Georgetown workplace.”