June 3, 2020
Dear Georgetown University School of Medicine Administration,
John J. DeGioia, PhD, President of Georgetown University
Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine
Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA, MACP, FAAP, FACR, Dean for Medical Education
Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Community Outreach and Engagement
Susan Cheng, EdLD, MPP, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Elliott Crooke, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Affairs
Ellen M. Dugan, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Admissions
Rebecca Evangelista, MD, Associate Dean for Clinical Faculty
Irma Frank, DDS, Senior Associate Dean for International Programs
Mary Furlong, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Curriculum
Diana M. Kassar, Senior Associate Dean for Finance & Administration
Princy N. Kumar, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Students
Jett McCann, MS, Senior Associate Dean for Knowledge Management
David Taylor, MEd, Senior Associate Dean for Student Learning
L. Whitman Brown, MBA, Associate Dean and Chief of Operations
H. Carrie Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Dean of Assessment and Educational Scholarship
Yvonne Hernandez, PhD, Associate Dean for Pre-Clinical Education
Maria Marquez, MD, Associate Dean for Reflection and Professional Development
Eileen Moore, MD, Associate Dean for Community Education and Advocacy
Jamie S. Padmore, DM, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Educational Scholarship
David Pollock, Associate Dean for Student Financial Aid
Joseph Timpone, MD, Associate Dean for Student Research
Deborah Topol, MD, FACP, Associate Dean for Medical Education at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Marian Wulf-Gutierrez, MD, Associate Dean for Clinical Education
Annaliese Heussler, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Nicole M. Houle, EdD, Assistant Dean for Admissions
Yumi Jarris, MD, Assistant Dean for Population Health and Prevention
Dustyn J. Wright, MA, Assistant Dean for Curriculum Management
John Yosaitis, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Director of the Integrated Learning Center and SiTEL
We are suffering. From George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery to Philandro Castile, Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and countless other senseless murders of Black souls. We mourn alongside our fellow Black students and the Black community at large. We stand in solidarity with our classmates and our community against racism and we need you to do the same.
We write to you today in the context of yet another tragedy rooted in a society built on racism and inequity. Dr. DeGioia’s recent statement illustrated how these devastating reminders of injustice appear in the headlines all too frequently. The murders in recent headlines are only a glimpse into the pervasive racism that infects our society. From microaggressions to murder, we denounce all forms of racism and encourage everyone to actively decolonize our institutions and dismantle anti-Black racism and white supremacy.
As members of an institution guided by the Jesuit principles of “faith that does justice,” “men and women for others,” and “contemplatives in action,” we cannot stand by and claim we uphold these values without more meaningful action. As Dr. DeGioia said in September 2016, “We must discover new ways of being a university — new ways of exercising our institutional agency.” It is not sufficient to verbally condemn racist acts and provide statements alone. The time for exercising institutional agency to create tangible change is long overdue. We implore our colleagues and our institution to stand with us and be the change that is desperately needed.
We must envision these changes as intentional, aggressive, and beneficial steps towards addressing racism as a historically-ignored public health crisis plaguing our country. Racism is a well-documented risk factor for adverse health outcomes, and is a root cause of racial health inequities as driven by segregation, discriminatory incarceration, and disparities in healthcare quality. Differences in health status and life expectancy for minorities across the nation have been described in literature for multiple diseases. It is of utmost importance to address the racial inequities in healthcare that have perpetuated disparities — not only because they are wrong, but also to prevent discrimation based on race and/or socioeconomic status.
As with any public health crisis, there must be a concerted effort by all individuals to work tirelessly towards its resolution. We have seen the intensity of our nation’s and school’s response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Just as the School of Medicine rapidly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic with curricular and administrative changes, we ask that the administration treat issues of racism with equal, if not more, urgency. Lackluster, intermittent engagement combined with the current sparse education and action on racism in medicine makes us complicit in this public health crisis. If we can create a curriculum for a novel virus within the span of weeks, we are capable of taking actions focused on racism in medicine which have existed for centuries and intimately affects our student body, our ability to be exceptional physicians, and our patients’ health outcomes.
Georgetown itself has highlighted the discrepancy in how Black communities have disproportionately suffered at the hands of COVID-19, and how it is now time to act on the underlying issues causing these outcomes, starting within our own university. In order to adequately create culturally competent and effective physicians, it is imperative we be trained to consider the impact that racism and the history of race-based medicine has on our patients’ lives, clinical encounters, and health outcomes.
Medical education on this topic is imperative for all students so they may identify problems within the healthcare system and work toward creating equitable solutions. This includes implicit bias training, which unveils cognitive dissonance and prompts us to work on ourselves for the betterment of our colleagues and patients. Greater diversity in medicine allows for different perspectives to revolutionize the way we deliver and practice medicine. Stronger curricular education focused on racism in medicine will bolster our ability to care for our diverse population. Being well-versed in the effects of racism allows for deeper bonds between patient and provider.
It is our hope that graduates of the Georgetown University School of Medicine be advocates, unrelenting allies, and leaders in pursuing institutional and societal change wherever they go in their careers. Our responsibility to embody all of these qualities begins now. To begin this work, we — students across all years of training, of different races and ethnicities, and with diverse backgrounds — have come together in the spirit of discovering new ways of being a university. We stand with our peers, and in this letter, we outline a solid framework on how our institution can effect change now.
Below you will find a list of ten action items that are imperative for Georgetown University School of Medicine to institute, as well as a timeline for implementation. We believe that it is a reasonable expectation of our entrusted leaders to be able to act on these items and provide periodic updates on progress made.
(Click on each action item to read more.)
1. Provide prompt responses to racial violence and tragedies within the first 48 hours of occurrence.
We ask for prompt responses to students regarding all racial violence and tragedies that occur in our nation within 48 hours. These responses should publicly denounce racism and recognize the impact these events have on our Black students and Black community. Additionally, these responses should come directly from the Dean for Medical Education, the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, and the President of the University to underscore the full gravitas necessitated against acts of racial violence. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is imperative to the larger goals of the institution and is an invaluable resource for students. However, ODI is often relied upon as the arbitrator of matters of race. ODI is composed largely of minorities, who themselves are affected by acts of racial violence. While ODI is fully qualified and capable of creating such statements, they should not be taxed with upholding racial decorum within the institution. Recent events have dictated that now is the time for our institutional leaders, white men in particular, to take an active role in confronting and condemning racism in our country and in our institution.
We require a proactive response from our administration to anticipate the needs of all students, including those from diverse backgrounds, and especially in the context of current world events. The administration must preemptively create measures which protect student wellness. Students should not have to advocate for these measures while they are in the midst of processing tragic events and experiencing psychological trauma. We ask that in the future, administration recognizes the need for students with upcoming exams to be given the option to postpone, given that the process of studying effectively is inevitably disrupted during these events. Similar consideration should be given for participation in clinical duties.
We ask that a Dean, a Preclinical Advisor, or a Clinical Advisor personally extend their availability to Black students within 48 hours of anti-Black racist violence and tragedies that occur in this country. We are a community, and in the spirit of community, we expect our leadership to promote the development of meaningful connections among faculty and administration with their students, including Black students. These personal relationships are especially important during moments of tragedy. Outreach to Black students is not solely the responsibility of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The objective of this outreach would be to demonstrate a recognition of the physical and emotional toll these recurrent events have on Black students, and to ask how the university can best support them during this time. It also shows recognition on behalf of the school that minorities, such as the Black community, are directly targeted in this country and need support from their professional advisors.
We ask that the University hire four new diverse counselors, in particular Black counselors, capable of counsel relevant to the lived experiences of ALL of our student bodies in order to support Black students at Georgetown. These counselors also need to have availability for medical students, both throughout the year and during tragedies like this.
We ask the campus police to discontinue crime alert notifications which include vague descriptions of minorities. We recognize that the notifications are important in protecting our campus; however, they should include specific descriptions. Statements such as “Black, male, slim build, dark complexion wearing all Black clothing” can unnecessarily target Black male students, faculty, and staff. Such non-descriptive language reinforces and perpetuates underlying racist associations between criminal acts and the color of one’s skin. It also establishes an environment of fear and potential danger for Black people on our campus. As we have seen in recent national events, the murders of Black Americans in settings of “self-defense,” misunderstanding, and misidentification is a real risk. Black people have a right to safely exist on our campus. It is imperative that campus police not promote racial profiling of Black students, faculty, and staff.
Currently, the Georgetown University Police Department offers training on various topics including implicit bias, microaggressions, and Black students’ lived experiences and perceptions. We ask that all campus police be trained in nonviolent methods of de-escalation, racial profiling, and other policing tactics that unnecessarily target Black people. We also ask for transparency and true accountability in policing. This should include reflection among campus police and methods to evaluate understanding and impact of actions. We ask for the proactive development of policies that call for the immediate removal of officers who engage in racist acts against Black people on our campus.
We ask that Georgetown fulfill its stated mission of equity by ensuring racial demographics of our institution are at least representative of the United States population (13% Black, 1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 17% Latinx). Students of color should be involved in recruitment efforts of prospective medical students and should be compensated for their time. Furthermore, we call for the University to develop more deliberate partnerships with Howard University and other historically Black colleges and universities to strengthen the pipeline for Black and Latinx students. AAMC’s Diversity in Medicine: Facts and Figures 2019 outlines other leading institutions with robust recruitment efforts that graduate large numbers of Black, Latinx, and American Indian and Alaska Native students. Georgetown can look to these institutions as examples.
In an effort to ensure equity in admissions, we ask that the University examine its admissions of legacy students. The University must be transparent in the process in which legacy applicants are admitted each year. Legacy admission policies are not equitable and have unfairly benefited White students for generations.
This institution also has an undeniable legacy rooted in anti-Black white supremacy and self-preservation, which was perpetrated through the sale and enslavement of Black humans. In the same manner in which the university honors and accepts legacy students, it also has a responsibility to take more aggressive steps to address this history. The University should address this legacy of slavery by directly admitting Black students in the same numbers that it admits legacy students. Furthermore, the Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies (GEMS) program should not be the primary mechanism in which Black and Brown students are admitted to the school. There should be increased admittance apart from the GEMS program to improve representation in our school.
To further such transparency, the Office of Admissions should publish the methods used to train those involved in the admissions and recruitment process on topics of implicit bias, racial equity, and educational equity. Additionally, the Office of Admissions should develop and publish a strategic plan which details methods to ensure the recruitment of a more diverse student body and publish the results of these efforts annually.
Often the work of diversifying the faculty and student body falls solely on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. However, this work should be owned by all members of the community. We ask that each department release an annual update acknowledging current gaps in faculty representation, hiring, retention, and leadership. Additionally, their efforts to address diversity and inclusion, and plans to remediate any gaps, should be detailed. Those overseeing recruitment for our institution should also publish plans on faculty diversification and annual progress reports.
Representation matters. We ask that the school incorporate a more diverse panel of experts in various specialties to provide a more inclusive and representative learning environment. Throughout the span of the 18-month pre-clinical phase, students receive one lecture from Black faculty. Black physicians are also not adequately represented in departmental leadership. It is important to see Black doctors in these roles.
We must also recognize the relative lack of public acknowledgement and celebration of clinicians of color at Georgetown. There are so many incredible physicians of color who have had an immense impact on individual students, the School of Medicine, and the development of Georgetown University Hospital itself. These are people who meet all of the qualifications to deserve a place on the wall in Gorman Auditorium and other locations on our campus — yet their portraits are missing. Inclusion and public representation of these incredible physicians not only sends a message to our current students of color that they belong in medicine, but also demonstrates to current and incoming students that Georgetown is committed to creating a diverse set of leaders. The Women on the Walls campaign has been an important advancement in celebrating women in medicine publicly, and we ask that the school continue to support and amplify such efforts through increased institutional funding.
We also ask that representation be demonstrated in the namesakes of our Learning Societies, which are currently only those of white physicians. The current structure, which overlooks people of color, ignores the impact that so many Black physicians have had in medicine at Georgetown. To make this environment more representative and inclusive, we need the heads of these societies to not be exclusively white. Institutions like Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have appropriate representation in the heads of their colleges, and we ask that Georgetown does the same.
We ask that the admissions committee add an additional requirement of completion of an undergraduate level course on race and ethnicity prior to matriculation. In every other competency related to medicine, we are required to arrive with background knowledge before matriculation to our institution. In order to have meaningful, productive dialogues and training on inequities, our students need foundational knowledge starting at the undergraduate level. This would also reduce the omnipresent emotional and mental burden on our minority students to educate their classmates on race, racism, and injustice.
We understand there are many extenuating circumstances that may prevent students from meeting this requirement as an undergraduate. Therefore, as an alternative, the School of Medicine can partner with the Georgetown University undergraduate campus to offer the summer course AFAM-206-20: Race and Racism in American Culture at no additional cost to matriculating students who did not have an opportunity to fulfill this requirement during their undergraduate career. For students who require additional flexibility, the school can provide free online courses such as Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History as an option.
- Update the summer reading requirements for incoming M1 students and current students.
We ask that Georgetown add a summer curriculum for both incoming and current students that includes a reading requirement focused on anti-racism. A summer reading requirement of The Wonder/Never Let Me Go is already in place and replacing or adding to the required content would be feasible. Such curricula already exist at several leading medical schools. Potential reading lists include Medical Bondage by Deirdre Cooper Owens, Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington, Reproducing Race by Khiara M. Bridges, and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. To hold students accountable and provide a space to process and discuss the content of the selected anti-racism reading, we ask that there be follow-up assignments and small group discussions.
Georgetown also has a “required” reading of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks that occurs at the start of the third year bootcamp. This is a commendable effort to begin the education on how some practices in medicine were built on unjust acts towards marginalized populations. Unfortunately, it occurs too late in medical education, with an insufficient level of accountability for students in terms of follow-up discussions. Instituting a required anti-racism summer reading curriculum would create a longitudinal foundation for a better understanding of systemic racism in America and will demonstrate to its students that Georgetown is committed to introspection, exploration, and dismantling systemic oppression.
- Integrate a required and graded longitudinal course on Race & Medicine across all four years to improve understanding of race and vulnerable populations.
We ask that Georgetown live up to its stated mission of social and health justice by implementing a required, longitudinal course dedicated to learning about Race & Medicine. As stated in an article published in the AMA Journal of Ethics in 2014, “a curriculum that addresses racial disparities in a substantive way requires an intellectually engaging space where bioscience and clinical faculty and students can be introduced to the historical, sociological, and anthropological scholarship on race in medicine, its continuities and discontinuities.”
The historical connections and contemporary implications of race and medicine are already well-documented in the literature, providing ample material to draw on when curating a course. Furthermore, courses that educate on race and medicine for pre-medical and medical students are currently in place at other medical schools; Georgetown should leverage the network of knowledgeable colleagues to achieve a similar course.
Georgetown has already instituted an outstanding two-week Patients, Population, and Policy (P3) course in the first year. We propose an expansion upon the P3 course to include longitudinal small group discussions on race and bias across all four years. It is a disservice to our faculty and student body to condense such consequential topics into a two-week time frame in large group settings where individual academic accountability is often difficult to address. Many of these issues — racism, public health disparities, and public health policy — are well known to some of our students, while others may be navigating these conversations for the first time. Well-trained facilitators can effectively guide a small group discussion among individuals with different levels of knowledge or lived experiences with racism.
Finally, we advocate extending the Vulnerable Populations Deep Dive to all students as a required course. This year, eleven students opted into this Deep Dive as an elective. The content within this course would be an excellent way to continue the discussions from P3 after having witnessed firsthand the impact of race and social determinants of health on the wards and in the community. Furthermore this is in line with the School of Medicine’s guiding principle of cura personalis and mission of “intellectual and ethical formation of physician-healers committed to the clinically competent care and well-being of their patients and dedicated to the health needs of the underserved in our society.”
- Remove racialized medicine from all lectures, assignments, and exams, and include content and photos that are better representative of diverse patient populations.
When confronting systemic racism, it is necessary to reflect on how medical education itself perpetuates racist beliefs and stereotypes. We were taught in P3 that race is a social construct, so it should not be taught in other settings as an objective risk factor, a tool for diagnostic reasoning, or a predictor of treatment response. Furthermore, race should not be routinely included in prompts or the “one-liners” presented in lectures, Grand Rounds, case studies, small groups, or other learning materials. Students should be corrected when they include race in patient presentations on the wards. Repetition of these associations has resulted in the creation of physicians that believe in the existence of false physiological differences between people of different races.
These entrained stereotypes negatively impact our ability to provide the highest quality of patient care in the future, as we subconsciously let them drive our building of differential diagnoses and interpretation of data. It solidifies the role of medical providers in the perpetuation of racial health disparities, which must end. As a university committed to addressing these health disparities, it is fundamental that the education students receive is not sowing the seeds of future systemic racial oppression. Many leading academic institutions, such as UCSF and University of Washington, have taken the necessary steps to re-educate providers and students. Some of these efforts include creating Anti-Racism Primer Toolkits for educators and removing the “Black” or “African American” designation from glomerular filtration rate (GFR) calculations.
When presenting racial health disparities, context must be provided to explain the root causes of these disparities. All faculty should be capable of explaining how structural racism, not race itself, is the risk factor for racial health disparities. We want to emphasize that this does not mean that race does not play a role in medicine. Race plays a major role because it shapes the socioeconomic environment in which our patients live. Just as students would expect to learn about the pathophysiology of disease, we must learn about the root causes for health disparities in Black populations. It is not enough to reference health disparity data without providing the context.
Finally, we ask that the dermatology curriculum be modified to include photos of non-white, and specifically, Black, skin with various dermatological conditions. The vast majority of pictures shown in the curriculum are of white bodies. This severely limits our education in that it makes us ill-prepared to recognize and address dermatological concerns of future patients.
- Implement implicit bias training that specifically addresses the inherent relationship between race in medicine and differential health outcomes. This should be required for all faculty, residents, and students.
We ask that all Georgetown pre-clinical faculty, clinical faculty, Professional Identity Formation (PIF) coaches, resident physicians, and students be required to participate in the implicit bias training as it pertains to patient care. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has developed a similar training for implicit bias in the section of interview candidates which should be modeled for the clinical setting.
We ask that Georgetown make a concerted effort to ensure our teachers are inclusive of minority groups. Lecturers, clinical faculty, and residents who teach medical students throughout their four years should be specifically evaluated on their actions and attitudes regarding race, gender, and sexual orientation. We hope that both students and faculty will take an active role in voicing their concerns should any racially, culturally, sexually, or otherwise inappropriate or insensitive content be included in the material they present. We recognize the role of the Medical Student Life Advisory Committee (MSLAC) in ensuring there are checkpoints with regards to these concerns. In addition to the work that MSLAC does, we propose that evaluation forms include an explicit question to prompt honest response and hold faculty accountable. The sample question below provides guidance regarding this:
“Has this faculty member made inappropriate remarks or microaggressions related to race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, culture, religion, sex, gender identity, or other personal characteristics? Yes or No. If yes, please describe in detail.”
We also ask that there be timely, transparent follow-up for any reported case of insensitivity or inappropriate comments. In some instances, resolution of the situation may involve a formal acknowledgement of the impact the comment had, an apology to the student(s) affected, and a meeting with a committee within that individual’s department to discuss the need for disciplinary action.
Just as Georgetown successfully implemented their Mistreatment Policy across all rotation sites, we ask that all clinical sites provide evidence that those interacting with students have received training on implicit bias, microaggressions, and cultural sensitivity on at least an annual basis.
8. Improve the retention of Black students by identifying their specific challenges and providing more targeted support.
It is evident to us that the retention rate of minorities, including Black students at the medical school, is disparate from that of the rest of the student body. Equity in medicine includes equity in medical education. We ask that Georgetown take extra measures to understand which factors adversely affect a Black student’s ability to succeed. This includes, but is not limited to, improving the policies around grade remediation and instituting appropriate mentorship for Black students.
We recognize that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has been working towards supporting students of color, but we ask that the current efforts within the administration at large be amplified. Students who are struggling academically should be identified earlier. They should be provided adequate and targeted support to succeed based on their needs, such as financial assistance to purchase study resources, additional time to study for exams, and increased faculty mentorship. These needs would be identified better by a university community that understands the social and learning environments experienced by underrepresented minorities both in the literature and at Georgetown specifically.
Other universities have implemented strategies in the past to address issues of providing financial assistance to Black students. For example, in response to the 2014 Ferguson protests in St. Louis, Saint Louis University (SLU) students issued The Clocktower Accords to help provide a roadmap for the university’s administration to actively oppose racism on its campus. The Jesuit university implemented this comprehensive list of thirteen accords, as requested by their students. We find the statements on (1) increased financial aid resources for retention of African American students at SLU and (2) evaluation of current scholarship programs to better serve African American students,to be particularly relevant to better financially assist students at our own university.
We ask for the transparent assessment and reporting of racial bias within grading and nominations to the Gold Humanism Honor Society and Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society. This information should be made public in an aggregated, de-identified manner along with plans to address the inequities found in these statistics.
To begin this work, we ask that Georgetown make robust efforts to evaluate the extent of the racial disparities that exist in grading. Numerous studies have already shown the racial bias present in medical school grading systems, as seen by underrepresented minorities (URM) and non-URM minorities receiving lower grades than white peers in most clerkships. We ask that Georgetown consider the suggestions from the AAMC opinion piece Healing a broken clerkship grading system in determining how to address and improve disparities and implicit biases involved in clerkship grading. Georgetown should consider recommendations that mitigate “stereotype threat,” such as ensuring that the demographics of the faculty grading students mirrors the diversity of the student population. In addition, ensuring that evaluators understand the unique challenges of URM students and foster a learning environment informed by this awareness is critical to dismantling implicit biases.
We ask for transparency of the demographic data in honor society nominations and awards. This will help to inform the need for implicit bias training for attendings and residents who are evaluating students. Criteria for academic awards should be re-evaluated to better acknowledge student scholarship more equitably and in a way that represents the entire graduating class. It has been found that the way in which students are nominated, meet qualifications, and are then evaluated for these honor societies reflect the biases already within the school. Awards are based on clerkship grades — which are largely determined by subjective evaluations most susceptible to implicit bias. The criteria for determining eligibility for these awards is inherently flawed and fails to recognize that Black and minority students must overcome barriers to their success at every stage in their career. Their achievements show not only excellent academic competency but the grit to overcome deeply-rooted stereotypes that work against their favor. Georgetown has the ability to reevaluate the requirements of these honor societies, as many universities have, due to questions of racial inequality. Bias in nomination and selection has led schools such as the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and UCSF to opt out of the AOA process entirely.
Lastly, we request that the University release progress reports with updates on these action items every three months. Additionally, we request an official annual evaluation of progress on the aforementioned issues in June 2021.
There is no question that Georgetown strives to provide excellent didactic education and strongly advocates care for the whole person. Tackling racism is no small task and requires long-term solutions. It is a task, however, that we know Georgetown is capable of confronting head-on.
We now ask that Georgetown acknowledges its gaps in supporting minority students, particularly Black students, and take swift action to close these gaps. The school should provide adequate support to its Black students. Curriculum on race should be longitudinal and graded. Faculty should be educated and evaluated on their inclusivity. Teaching materials should be reviewed to better reflect root causes of diseases beyond the umbrella term of “race.” Multicultural counselors should be hired to support students, and more faculty of color, especially Black faculty, should be hired and represented on the walls. Lastly, there should be increased transparency regarding these efforts in the form of public annual reports.
Across the nation, racism in medicine is a long overdue component of a well-rounded medical education. Implementing institutional changes at Georgetown that reflect this reality aligns with the University’s values, and would demonstrate a commitment to its mission.
The time to act is now.
Members of the Georgetown University School of Medicine Community
1. Adaah Sayyed, Class of 2022
2. Allison Rooney, Class of 2022
3. Alynna Wiley, Class of 2022
4. Benjamin Swaby, Class of 2023
5. Brendan Crow, Class of 2021
6. Christopher Anderson, Class of 2021
7. Emily Shaffer, Class of 2021
8. Hager Koraym, Class of 2021
9. Janae Van Buren, Class of 2021
10. Jennifer Gyamfi Holiday, Class of 2022
11. Jerome Murray, Class of 2022
12. Julia Hernandez, Class of 2022
13. Kellie Wo, Class of 2021
14. Mariama Jallow-Olanrewaju, Class of 2022
15. Megan Deyarmond, Class of 2021
16. Megan Pogue, Class of 2021
17. Melissa Baker, Class of 2022
18. Oluwatoyosi Ipaye, Class of 2021
19. Randy Amibang, Class of 2023
20. Sahaj Patel, Class of 2021
21. Stanley Kamande, Class of 2022
22. Stephen Kane, Class of 2021
23. L Tamara Wilson, Class of 2021
24. Tejasvi Peesay, Class of 2022
25. Tyler McGehee, Class of 2022
26. Vian Zada, Class of 2021
27. Zuby Syed, Class of 2022
28. Libby Wetterer, MD’20
29. Riva Desai, Class of 2021
30. Sindhura Kolachana Class of 2022
31. Ciara Sanchez, Class of 2022
32. Jai Won Jung, Class of 2022
33. Julia Fisher, Class of 2022
34. Sherry Gholami, Class of 2022
35. Michelle Croda, Class of 2023
36. Lavan Rajan, Class of 2022
37. June Futterman, Class of 2022
38. Amna Nawaz, Class of 2023
39. Anjani Kapadia, Class of 2022
40. Sahi Reddy, Class of 2022
41. Zara Ibrahim, Class of 2022
42. Emily Jeong Hwa Kim, Class of 2021
43. Bria Johnson, Class of 2022
44. Hamsini Rao, Class of 2021
45. Carolyn Hofley, Class of 2023
46. Sara Torres, Class of 2022
47. Elise Snyder, Class of 2022
48. Gabriela Avalos, Class of 2022
49. Claire Brown, Class of 2022
50. Michelle Xu, Class of 2022
51. Heng Nhoung, Class of 2022
52. Emilie Melvin, Class of 2022
53. Timothy Utz, Class of 2023
54. Priyanka Tripuraneni, Class of 2022
55. Christian Delgado, Class of 2022
56. Trenten Fenster, Class of 2022
57. Kevin Chang, Class of 2021
58. Brett Habermehl, Class of 2022
59. Meghan O’Leary-Kelly, Class of 2022
60. Alexandra Eckert, Class of 2023
61. Pei-Ying Kobres, Class of 2023
62. Anisha Patel, Class of 2022
63. Sandra Diez, Class of 2023
64. Beelet Dawood, Class of 2022
65. Arthur Arcaz, Class of 2021
66. Harry Lee, Class of 2021
67. Michael Markel, Class of 2022
68. Zaynab Almothafer, Class of 2023
69. Eleanor Belilos, Class of 2022
70. Divya Makkapati, Class of 2023
71. Marissa Hand, Class of 2022
72. Osher Shefer, Class of 2022
73. Nicholas Bader, Class of 2022
74. Alexandra Welschmeyer, Class of 2022
75. Kevin Berardino, Class of 2022
76. Alicia Kaneb, Class of 2022
77. Sruveera Sathi, Class of 2023
78. Yadhu Dhital, Class of 2021
79. Rachael Maynard, Class of 2022
80. Jessica Beer, MD’20
81. Mara Penne, Class of 2021
82. Jordan Martucci, Class of 2021
83. Batoul Hasan, Class of 2023
84. Daniel Swanson, Class of 2022
85. Hannah Sinks, Class of 2022
86. Yakov Mamzhi, Class of 2022
87. Caitlin Merley, Class of 2021
88. Adaora Ewulu, Class of 2023
89. Stephanie Shin, Class of 2023
90. Aisha Inuwa, Class of 2023
91. Ben Hack, Class of 2022
92. Aisha Lott, MD’20
93. Aditi Gadre, Class of 2023
94. Adair Boudreaux, Class of 2022
95. Ayodeji Ajayi, Class of 2022
96. Cynthia Peng, Class of 2022
97. Joanna Orzel, Class of 2021
98. Matt Williams, Class of 2021
99. Matthew Triano, Class of 2021
100. Kyeong Yun Jeong, Class of 2021
101. Larissa Spagnol Silverman, MD’20
102. Ambika Paulson, Class of 2023
103. Getrude Makurumidze, Class of 2023
104. Alex Akman, Class of 2023
105. Malcolm Meredith, Class of 2023
106. Margaret Paules Class of 2022
107. Kwadwo A. Sarpong, Class of 2022
108. Shelby Davis-Cooper, Class of 2023
109. Nayeem Nasher, Class of 2021
110. John Hebb, Class of 2021
111. Elias Castro, Class of 2023
112. Brendan Wesp, Class of 2021
113. Yadana Khin, Class of 2022
114. Janeth Campbell, Class of 2024
115. Andy Koltun, Class of 2022
116. Wendy Laurence-Diaz, Class of 2022
117. Margaret Pauliukonis, Class of 2022
118. Kelly Luciani, Class of 2022
119. Lydia Koroshetz, MD’20
120. Stephen Tranchina, Class of 2023
121. Courtney Reynolds, Class of 2021
122. Sarah Lucas, Class of 2023
123. Rita Malley, Class of 2022
124. Imanyah Hilliard, MD’20
125. Nishtha Raval, Class of 2023
126. Mia Jenkins, Class of 2023
127. Katie Povey, Class of 2021
128. Maria Cacciapuoti, Class of 2022
129. Emily Lai, MD’20
130. Lena Deb, Class of 2023
131. Berline Francis, Class of 2022
132. Vaibhav Penukonda, Class of 2023
133. Shwetha Kochi, Class of 2023
134. Zoey Maggid, Class of 2023
135. Darren Jackson, Class of 2021
136. Anthony Jourdan, Class of 2022
137. Whitney Peterson, Class of 2023
138. Alberto E. Perez, Class of 2022
139. Eliana Schaefer, Class of 2023
140. Ehab Bahrun, Class of 2022
141. Sonia Francone, Class of 2022
142. Julianne Hall, Class of 2023
143. Ethan Fraser, Class of 2021
144. Michael Ezeana, Class of 2024
145. Ankit Mishra, Class of 2023
146. Stefan Torelli, Class of 2021
147. Sarah Trent, Class of 2022
148. Delon McAllister, Class of 2022
149. Kathryn Lee, Class of 2022
150. Rechna Korula, Class of 2021
151.Victor Frederick Cox, Class of 2024
152. Emily Valaik, Class of 2022
153. John Bovill, Class of 2023
154. Daniel Childers, Class of 2023
155. Malaak Hamzeh, Class of 2023
156. Julia DeCelles-Zwerneman, Class of 2023
157. Alexandra Vincent, Class of 2022
158. Ritika Patil, Class of 2021
159. Nellie Darling, Class of 2021
160. Brandon Klein, Class of 2022
161. Nirmal N. Maitra, Class of 2023
162. Amanda Shapiro, Class of 2021
163. Liam Hatch, Class of 2023
164. Mason Hieu Phan, Class of 2021
165. Lorrane Kabert, Class of 2021
166. Yen Phung, Class of 2022
167. Maria Marquez, Class of 2022
168. Candice McCloud, Class of 2022
169. Eric Kim, Class of 2021
170. Ishani Joshi, Class of 2023
171. Dahlia Fateen, Class of 2022
172. Lelan Bailey, Class of 2022
173. Annemarie Newark, Class of 2022
174. Arvin Daneshmand, Class of 2022
175. Chloe Wang, Class of 2023
176. Hannah Day Class of 2020
177. Julia Kepley, Class of 2023
178. Alexander Boos, Class of 2023
179. Brendon Peterson, Class of 2022
180. Dave Saxon, Class of 2022
181. Sidharth Jain, Class of 2023
182. Mitchell Rock, Class of 2022
183. Han Kong, Class of 2023
184. David Nguyen, Class of 2021
185. Brynley Dean, Class of 2022
186. Kylie Knoles-Barnett, Class of 2022
187. Emily Kim, Class of 2023
188. Elizabeth Borowiec, Class of 2021
189. Emily Krisanda, Class of 2023
190. Erin Rachel Vaughan, Class of 2023
191. Erin McDonough, Class of 2022
192. Connor Lester, Class of 2023
193. Haley McCann, Class of 2023
194. Abraham Levitman, Class of 2023
195. Rayva Khanna, Class of 2022
196. Harry Tsou, Class of 2022
197. Kira Chandran, Class of 2023
198. Paulina Szakiel, Class of 2022
199. Ronak Sutariya, Class of 2023
200. William Rate, Class of 2022
201. Jacqueline Russell, Class of 2022
202. Joseph Nealon, Class of 2022
203. Lily Joseph, Class of 2022
204. Joon Chung, Class of 2023
205. Gina Cach, Class of 2023
206. Stephanie Franco, Class of 2022
207. Siena Romano, Class of 2023
208. Niki Noe, Class of 2023
209. Lucy Zheng, Class of 2023
210. Callie Takahashi, Class of 2021
211. Cody Funkhouser, Class of 2021
212. Monette Veral, Class of 2022
213. Sara Wierbowski, Class of 2023
214. Ashley Andreou, Class of 2023
215. Meredith Njus, Class of 2021
216. Garrett Buechner, Class of 2023
217. Corinne O’Connor, Class of 2023
218. Francis Navarra, Class of 2021
219. Alexander Ludin, Class of 2022
220. Elaine Yan, Class of 2023
221. Luc Fortier, Class of 2021
222. Anu Murthy MD ‘20
223. Meghan Chin, Class of 2023
224. Siya Patil, MD’20
225. Sydney Karnovsky, Class of 2021
226. Christopher Priestley-Milianta, Class of M2023
227. Bryan Chan, Class of 2022
228. Tyrone Elezander Wizzard, Class of 2021
229. Eric Li, Class of 2023
230. Jacqueline Regan, Class of 2021
231. Sarah Powell, Class of M2022
232. Nicole Hodgins, Class of 2023
233. Miller Richmond, Class of 2023
234. Zoe Haffner, Class of 2022
235. Madeleine Uelk, MD 2020
236. Justin Chau, Class of 2023
237. Josh Kassner, Class of 2021
238. JP Mikhaiel, MD’20
239. Clark Restrepo, Class of 2021
240. Ryan Kelly, Class if 2020
241. Colleen McNally, Class of 2021
242. Allison Doyle, MD’20
243. Nathan Aminpour, Class of 2023
244. Jordan Black, Class of 2021
245. Michael Hammer, Class of 2023
246. Kunal Kirloskar, Class of 2023
247. Daniel Gallagher, Class of 2021
248. Elizabeth Duquette, Class of 2023
249. Katie White, Class of 2021
250. Abigayle Norwood, MD ‘20
251. Hailey Roumimper, Class of M2021
252. Niti Nagar, Class of 2021
253. Lawren Wooten, Class of 2022
254. Cynthia Pham, Class of 2021
255. Claire Caplan, Class of 2022
256. Daisy Spoer, Class of 2023
257. Brian Panish, Class of 2023
258. Jessica Saha, Class of 2021
259. Lani Galloway, Class of 2021
260. Katelynn Getchell, Class of 2023
261. John Hunting, Class of 2022
262. Cameron Zachary, Class of 2021
263. Benjamin Greenspun, Class of 2021
264. Andrew Meshnick, Class of 2021
265. Nathan Fackler, Class of 2021
266. Jennifer Purks, Class of 2021
267. Daniel Popovsky, Class of 2023
268. Katheryn Bell, Class of 2021
269. Stefan Dabic, Class of 2023
270. Jacqueline Kruglyakova, Class of 2021
271. Priya Bhardwaj, Class of 2021
272. Benjamin Goodwin, Class of 2023
273. Idanis Perez-Alvarez, Class of 2021
274. Philip Coffin, Class of 2021
275. Jonathan Du, Class of 2021
276. Rebecca Xi, MD’20
277. Abigail Tirrell, Class of 2022
278. Kate Gallen, Class of 2023
279. Bashir Noor, Class of 2023
280. Areeg Abu El Hawa, Class of 2022
281. Rabia Mirza, Class of 2021
282. Nicholas Barnaba, Class of 2023
283. Nikhil Chervu, MD MS M’20
284. David Wang, MD’20
285. Jack Pollack, MD ‘20
286. Karen Quan, Class of 2023
287. Rachna Dhanjal, Class of 2023
288. Margaret Culver, Class of 2021
289. Parhom Towfighi, Class of 2023
290. Arjun Minhas, Class of 2021
291. Virginia Chan, Class of 2021
292. Seleem Elkadi, Class of 2023
293. Aman Chopra, Class of 2023
294. Peter Rakita, Class of 2023
295. John Thomas Fucigna, Class of 2023
296. David Kurtyka, Class of 2021
297. Stephanie Roberts, Faculty and Staff
298. Nancy Luo, Class of 2023
299. Wilton E. Robinson, Jr., Class of 2021
300. Jack Heer, Class of 2022
301. Zack Dailey, Class of 2022
302. Adam Purvis, Class of 2021
303. Joseph An, Class of 2022
304. Josh Mondshine, Class of 2023
305. Mohamad Elsouri, Class of 2023
306. Madhav Patel, Class of 2022
307. Nathan Kilian, Class of 2021
308. JooHee Choi, Class of 2023
309. Kelsie Gould, Class of 2021
310. Brenda Asilnejad, Class of 2023
311. Suraya Poian, Class of 2023
312. Noah Steinberg, Class of 2023
313. Julianne Kiene, Class of 2023
314. Ruth E. Watson, Class of 2023
315. Justine Matzen, Class of 2023
316.. Brett Will, Class of 2021
317. Oswald Reid, Jr. MD’20
318. Gavin Clark, Class of 2023
319. Emily Murphy, MD’20
320. Andrew Wilbur, Class of 2023
321. Ariana Davis, Class of 2023
322. Gigi Yip, Class of 2023
323. Henry Franscioni, Class 2023
324. Megan O’Brien, MD’20
325. Patrick Malone, Class of 2021
326. Alexander Zeleny, Class of 2021
327. Maha Nayyar, SMP
328. Patrick Chua, Class of 2023
329. Neil Sarna, Class of 2021
330. Charlee McLean, Class of 2021
331. Victoria Cunningham, SMP
332. Herman Wu, Class of 2020
333. Matthew D’Antuono, Class of 2021
334. Daniel Weitz, SMP 2020
335. Kristofer Muzzi, Class of 2022
336. Alex Oster, MD’20
337. Michael Ramirez, Class of 2021
338. Vikram Siberry, Class of 2022
339. Christine Stuart, Class of 2022
340. Alexandra Kyrillos, MD’20
341. Annie Kutzscher, MD’20
342. Ben Fisher, Class of 2022
343. Osh Hahm, Class of 2022
344. Ariunzaya Amgalan, Class of 2022
345. Omoteniola Lamina, Class of 2023
346. James Severin, Class of 2023
347. Meher Saleem, Class of 2022
348. Cayla Fappiano, Class of 2021
349. Griselda Potka MD’20
350. Catherine Bi, Class of 2022
351. Jennifer Tang, Class of 2021
352. Michael Swett, Class of 2023
353. Braeden Lovett, Class of 2022
354. Clark Pitcher, Class of 2023
355. Samuel Lim, Class of 2022
356. Shannon Marwitz, Class of 2021
357. Emily Etling, Class of 2022
358. Evan Purvis, Class of 2022
359. Jessica McCann, Class of 2022
360. Kristen Kent, Class of 2022
361. Annie Sadler, SMP
362. Marissa Oshiro, Class of 2022
363. Suzanne Zhou, Class of 2023
364. Anika Clark, MD Alumni
365. Cuepil k Choi, Class of 2023
366. Hayk Hakobyan, Class of 2021
367. Madeleine Walsh, Class of 2023
368. Christopher Swisher, Class of 2022
369. Ajay Jassal, Class of 2023
370. Teo Pulice, Class of 2022
371. Rachel Ruda, MD ’20
372. Caroline Wambach, MD ’20
373. Jackie Lee, Alumni
374. Elizabeth Dente, Class of 2022
375. Ehab Abaza, Class of 2021
376. Lindsay Thimmig, MD’20
377. Joshua McLean, Class of 2022
378. Sarah Schumacher, Class of 2022
379. Grace Lassiter, Class of 2021
380. Jessica Kang, Class of 2023
381. Emory Buck, MD’20
382. Rishi Simhal, Class of 2022
383. Madeline Marcelle, Class of 2022
384. Camden Sutton, Class of 2023
385. Sarah Kureshi, MD, MPH, Faculty
386. Eric Windsor, MD’20
387. Armin Mortazavi, Class of 2021
388. Woo-Ju Kim, Class of 2021
389. Kelli Boggan, Class of 2021
390. Alicia Khan, Class of 2022
391. Donna Cameron, Professor, Dept of Family Medicine
392. Sivasankari Rajamarthandan, Class of 2022
393. Charlotte Farley, Class of 2023
394. Caitlin Brumfiel, Class of 2022
395. Mario Rullo, Class of 2023
396. Joshua Crane, Class of 2022
397. Stephanie Furlong, Class of 2021
398. Peter Kyriakides Class of 2021
399. Mary-Kate Lawlor, Class of 2023
400. Rebecca Zhuo, Class of 2021
401. Sean Gaudio, Class of 2022
402. Jacqueline Anders, Class of 2021
403. Tad Umali, MD‘20
404. Rory Byrne, Class of 2023
405. Conor Kelly, SMP
406. Erica Meninno, MD’20
407. Joe Bano, Class of 2022
408. Nomazwe Ncube, Class of 2021
409. Shalin Zhang, Class of 2023
410. Lynette Sequeira, Class of 2023
411. Annaliese Heussler, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
412. Nicholas Wegener, Class of 2021
413. Aakib Khaled, Class of 2023
414. Amanda Kuhn, Class of 2022
415. Christine Hill, Class of 2022
416. Nabanita Hossain, Class of 2021
417. Alison Neuwirth, Class of 2021
418. Stephanie Davis, MD/PhD 2020
419. Aidan Neustadtl, MD’20
420. Kaushik Puranam, Class of 2022
421. Zachary Tanenbaum, Class of 2021
422. Aleek Aintablian Class of 2023
423. John Wilson, Class of 2023
424. Taylor Polk, MD ‘20
425. Sarah Berg, Class of 2021
426. Amanuel Shitaye, MD’20
427. Jamil Hayden, Class of 2022
428. Michael Finizio, Class of 2023
429. Mary-Margaret Donovan, Class of 2023
430. Jason Li, Class of 2021
431. Tim Goblirsch, Class of 2023
432. Anudeep Alberts, Class of 2021
433. Arielle Lee, Class of 2023
434. Alexandra Thomas, MD’20
435. Winnie Gaya Shivega, Class of 2021
436. Alice Kim, Class of 2023
437. Phillip Regina, SMP 2020
438. Matthew Civilette, Class of 2022
439. Jeff Riskin, Class of 2023
440. Molly Fitzpatrick, Class of 2023
441. Chloé Jammes, Class of 2023
442. Taymour Hashemzadeh, Class of 2022
443. Michael Creswell, Class of 2022
444. Lacey Nelson, Class of 2022
445. Shan Sivanushanthan, Class of 2022
446. Sarah Kodres-O’Brien, Class of 2023
447. Ali Borazjani, Class of 2021
448. Danielle D’Annibale, Class of 2021
449. Guy Shaposhnik, Class of 2022
450. John Solak, MD ’20
451. Robert Hagerty, MD ’20
452. Anthony Anya, Class of 2022
453. Caitlin Cain, Class of 2021
454. Shane Gately, Class of 2022
455. Jose Alejandro Almario, Class of 2022
456. Brady Stallman, Class of 2021
457. James Christian, Class of 2021
458. Matthew Sweeney, Class of 2022
459. Ashi Arora, Class of 2023
460. J.V.Nable, MD. Asst. Professor of Emergency Medicine
461. Kat Sheridan Lubinsky, Class of 2022
462. Maya Tarasenko, Class of 2023
463. Reice Robinson, Class of 2023
464. Sydney Dishman, MD ’20
465. Anjana Patel, Class of 2021
466. Thomas Fredrick, MD ’20
467. Anu Somaratna, SMP 2020
468. Mary-Kate Crane MD’20
469. Tara Filsuf, MD ’20
470. Taylor Pels, Class of 2023
471. Adedamola Badewa, Class of 2023
472. Joseph White, MD ’20
473. Noosha Deravi, Class of 2021
474. Julia Hernandez, Class of 2022
475. Jayna Reichert, Class of 2021
476. Christopher Grivas, Class of 2022
477. Danny Flautero, MD ’20
478. Ian O’Connor, Class of 2021
479. Vincent Pugliese, Class of 2023
480. W. Tyler Ketchabaw, MD/PhD Class of 2025
481. May Bayomi, Class of 2021
482. Cooper Ehlers, Class of 2021
483. Ethan Do, Class of 2022
484. Mark Brahier, Class of 2022
485. Kyung Eun “Daisy” Kim, MD
486. Emily McConathy, Class of 2022
487. Guadalupe Osorio, Class of 2021
488. Austin Carroll, Class of 2022
489. John O’Neill, Class of 2022
490. Stephanie Michaels, Class of 2023
491. Claire Falzarano, SMP 2020
492. Jonah Sens, Class of 2023
493. Michelle Hall, MD’20
494. Kirsten Linnartz, Class of 2023
495. Brandon Ferrell, Class of 2021
496. Richard Klein, Class of 2022
497. Kirsten Jin, SMP 2020
498. Julia Anderson, MD ’20
499. Nate Lee, Class of 2021
500. Preethi Venkat, MPH, MD ’20
501. Kathleen Coerdt, Class of 2021
502. Laura Upton, Class of 2021
503. Manfred M. Kubler, Class of 2021
504. Rotsen Rocha, Class of 2023
505. Mohammed Al Kurnas, SMP 2020
June 29, 2020
Subject: Racial injustice/SOM student letter
I’m writing today to share with you an open letter sent to School of Medicine leadership on June 3 that was penned by several of our medical students (and signed by more than half the student body) about the need for additional efforts to address ongoing racial inequities here at Georgetown.
I wholeheartedly agree with the students who write, “It is not sufficient to verbally condemn racist acts and provide statements alone…. We implore our colleagues and our institution to stand with us and be the change that is desperately needed.”
To that end, several of our colleagues in the School of Medicine and the students have met multiple times to begin organizing around a Racial Justice Committee for Change (RJCC). While this latest effort was borne out of the School of Medicine, I am pleased that it will be homed at GUMC and become an important part of our ongoing work.
I anticipate the RJCC will engage in a specific body of work over the next academic year to produce tangible outcomes. Subcommittees will be formed to allow working groups to focus on specific priorities and deliver actionable recommendations. The work of the RJCC is just beginning but throughout this coming year you will hear about opportunities for participating in this and other actions so that we can ensure our collective work includes perspectives of faculty, staff and students from across our campus.
For now, I’ll close with a statement from the letter: “As members of an institution guided by the Jesuit principles of ‘faith that does justice,’ ‘men and women for others,’ and ‘contemplatives in action,’ we cannot stand by and claim we uphold these values without more meaningful action.”
All the best,
Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean – Georgetown University School of Medicine
Georgetown University Medical Center
July 19, 2020
Subject: Welcome to Georgetown/Racial Justice Committee for Change
Dear Georgetown School of Medicine Class of 2024,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Georgetown University School of Medicine. I look forward to (virtually) meeting you in just a few short weeks at your orientation. I regret that we won’t be able to gather in person to mark this important step in your path to becoming physicians, but we will remain on this journey together until May 2024!
I’m writing today to share with you an important message that I sent to the Georgetown University Medical Center community this afternoon about our quest to pursue racial justice at our institution. By sharing this message with you, it is my intent to set an expectation of deepening our collective commitment to the values and principles that will guide us toward racial equity.
For this work, we are looking inward. As you’ll see below, we have taken some immediate actions to address systemic racism. But this is only the beginning of our work ahead.
One new change that impacts you immediately is the addition of a required orientation session for first-year students on anti-racism. As you may know, you will be asked to participate in small group discussions of excerpts from Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century. The timing for this reading is critical: racism and the misuse of race as a relevant characteristic in clinical care have dire consequences: misdiagnosis; differential treatment; and ultimately, gross inequities in health outcomes.
Please continue to read on to learn more about the work underway. I wish you the very best and look forward to seeing you soon.
Edward B. Healton, M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, School of Medicine
July 18, 2020
Subject: Formal launch: Racial Justice Committee for Change
Dear Members of the GUMC Community:
I am very pleased that yesterday afternoon we formally launched the Georgetown University Medical Center Racial Justice Committee for Change (RJCC).
I convened the RJCC, led by two faculty co-chairs — Dr. Tamika Auguste and Dr. Michelle Roett — and two student co-chairs — Jerome Murray (M3) and Stephen Kane (M4). The RJCC comprises five subcommittees: well-being, experience and responsiveness; safety and campus policing; recruitment, retention & success of URM students, staff and faculty; and racial justice curriculum reform (the full membership roster can be viewed here). This is a starting point and we anticipate this work broadening to include faculty, staff and student representation from our School of Nursing & Health Studies and Biomedical Graduate Education in the coming weeks.
The expected outcomes and responsibilities in the RJCC’s charge and its structure reflect the goals outlined in an open letter written by 27 medical students and signed by more than half the SOM student body that we received June 3. I remain grateful for the student leadership that has been a critical driving force behind this initiative. Their dedication to an inward institutional focus intended to create a culture of mutual respect and support and to directly address racism has been inspiring. I also commend them for tenaciously pursuing a robust pace of action.
Standing up the RJCC is an important goal, but it is by no means an end. It is one of our important vehicles for change, and its establishment marks only the beginning of the impactful work that lies ahead.
In a letter to the students earlier this week, I shared with them that change at Georgetown can be slow because of the desire to be inclusive in all that we do, but that these past six weeks have demonstrated that it is possible to move swiftly and be inclusive. With the assistance of several leaders from across our campus, we have been able to harness the momentum for addressing racism to make important changes that will have an impact on the new academic year, and especially our new students.
A summary of immediate actions implemented include:
Reviewing Curriculum For Racialized Content
The SOM Office of Medical Education is actively planning a faculty development workshop focused on removing racialized content in clinical correlates. These workshops will be scheduled for the fall. This is in addition to action being taken now by the Department of Dermatology to diversify the curricular content for the dermatology section of the Immunology, Rheumatology and Dermatology module for this academic year. I have also asked the leaders of our other schools and programs at the medical center to take similar steps in reviewing their curricula to ensure inclusivity, and that we remove any potentially offensive material.
Outreach, Recruitment and Retention of URIM Students
The SOM Committee on Admissions has formed a Subcommittee on Racial Justice and Diversity, which held its first meeting last month. The focus for the subcommittee is to bolster current efforts to create more robust and involved recruitment, outreach and retention strategies of URIM applicants. For the coming admissions cycle, the Office of Admissions aims to engage more faculty and student involvement in recruitment, outreach and retention of URIM applicants. The Admissions Office will also continue to require ongoing unconscious bias trainings for all admissions interviewers, as well as the Committee on Admissions, in assessing candidates for admission into the medical school.
Broadening the Learning Societies’ Representation
Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with the leadership of the SOM’s Learning Society Advisory Committee to discuss options for being more inclusive in our representation of society names. As a group, we decided to change the name of the John C. Rose, MD, Learning Society to the Earl H. Harley Jr., Learning Society. This change will take effect at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. A Navy veteran, Dr. Harley has been a pediatric otolaryngologist here at Georgetown University for nearly three decades, training more than a thousand medical students and about 100 otolaryngology residents. We look forward to a time when we can come together to celebrate the newly named Harley Society. We’re also pleased to share that Dr. Harley will administer the Hippocratic Oath during the White Coat Ceremony this August.
Diversification of Portraiture Across GUMC
We will continue to diversify our portraiture of diverse physicians, celebrating both the racial/ethnic and gender diversity of our physician leaders across GUMC. After sharing your open letter with our medical center faculty and leadership, we obtained an oil painting of Cliff Leftridge Jr., MD. Dr. Leftridge was a beloved pediatric radiologist for decades at Georgetown and a legendary teacher in the radiology department, exemplified by his many Golden Apple awards. We thank Dr. Spies for reaching out to share the portrait. We look forward to displaying it in a prominent place on our campus. Building upon our collaboration with the Georgetown Women in Medicine, we look to continue to expand our efforts of the “Women on the Walls” Campaign as well. Just before COVID impacted our medical center, we were able to celebrate the portrait unveiling of Princy N. Kumar, MD. You’ll find it in the Goldberg Auditorium when we’re able to return to campus. We will continue to find additional ways to highlight the important contributions of our diverse physicians.
Responding to Unsettling National Events
The students have emphasized the importance of hearing from university leadership in a timely manner following events such as the killing of George Floyd and the attempt by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy (now rescinded) to use the pandemic to block international students who were not taking in-person classes from staying in the U.S. Following the death of George Floyd, I and many of our colleagues around the Georgetown campus issued letters of support for the Black community, which is deeply affected by repeated acts of police brutality. Likewise, following a legal review of the DHS guidance, we voiced our support for those impacted. We will continue to speak out in the moment against acts of racism and discrimination.
Anti-Racism Prematriculation Materials
Our School of Medicine has added a required orientation session for first-year students on anti-racism, during which facilitators will lead small group discussions of excerpts from Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century by Dorothy Roberts. In the coming days, I will be sharing information about this effort with other GUMC leaders, faculty and staff, encouraging them to engage on this important issue and to incorporate anti-racism content into their curriculum.
Safety and Campus Police Relations
Early last week, my office reached out to Jay Gruber, associate vice president of public safety and leader of our Georgetown Police Department, to share with him our collective interest in engaging with him on numerous concerns. He responded favorably and looks forward to working with the subcommittee. His office is assembling helpful documents in one location that will be shared with the subcommittee so that they have a baseline of information to inform their work.
Video Statement Against Racism
I’ve asked the GUMC communications office to move forward with a planned video statement against racism and in support of the Black Lives Matter initiatives. I want to thank Jerome Murray, student co-chair of the RJCC, and the others who are leading this effort. I understand there is a working script and that plans are being made for videotaping the messages.
RJCC Updates To Be Featured on the Dedicated GUMC Webpages
I’ve also asked the GUMC communications team to work in consultation with the students to create dedicated webpages that will feature regular progress updates on the work of the RJCC and to promote accountability and transparency with regard to our collaboration around the recommendations stated in the open letter. The first of these webpages were launched today.
Our Work With MedStar Health
Apart from the work specific to our campus, we also are collaborating with MedStar Health as it develops a Working Group for Racial Justice. The intended audience of this working group is MedStar Health residents, fellows, and teaching faculty. You can read about the proposed scope of work and subcommittee here. I am hopeful that the interdigitation of our faculty will allow us to elevate concerns and realize potential solutions for best practices across GUMC and MedStar.
The immediate steps we have already taken are important, but more needs to be done. We will continue to work on the remaining recommendations in the open letter in the coming weeks. We will also provide updates to our community, and where appropriate connect with racial justice work across the university.
Again, I’d like to thank the RJCC committee members for their commitment, including those who are leading the various subcommittees. We anticipate additional opportunities in the coming year for those who wish to join us in this effort to identify and eliminate racism in its many forms. It is not only a societal imperative, but one that is inextricably linked to our mission as a medical center as we pursue health equity through patient care, education and research.
And as the 27 medical students so eloquently stated in their letter: “As members of an institution guided by the Jesuit principles of ‘faith that does justice,’ ‘men and women for others,’ and ‘contemplatives in action,’ we cannot stand by and claim we uphold these values without more meaningful action.”
All the best,
Edward B. Healton, M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Executive Dean, School of Medicine