Race Matters at UCSF: Discussion at School of Medicine Leadership Retreat

Campus

The UCSF School of Medicine is committed to diversity and equality. Below is a letter sent by Interim Dean of the School of Medicine Bruce Wintroub in December 2014:

Dear Colleagues,

We have taken the unusual step of changing the focus of the January School of Medicine Leadership Retreat to discuss race, ethnicity and inequities in health, healthcare and opportunity. Our goal is to learn from our learners and faculty and to work together to identify actions that UCSF can take alone and in partnership to address this important topic within our institution and in the community. 

The peaceful demonstrations last week organized by UCSF medical students and held at 80 medical schools across the nation was a call by our future faculty and colleagues to work with them to advance equality in health and society, now, in real time.

Recent events in Ferguson and Staten Island have brought issues of race and racism once again to the front of our awareness. As a leading research, clinical care and educational institution, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring talented people together to investigate and ameliorate complex problems. As a public institution, we are sustained by our commitment to improve the health of our communities. As members of this community and citizens of a diverse state, we have a responsibility to dive deeper into the persistent inequities in personal and public health that stem from racism, unconscious bias and the stress associated with inequality.

Our students are urging us to address these problems. The peaceful demonstrations last week organized by UCSF medical students and held at 80 medical schools across the nation was a call by our future faculty and colleagues to work with them to advance equality in health and society, now, in real time.

While our focus at this retreat will be race and ethnicity, we are committed, as a leadership team, to conduct further dialogues on the experience of other underrepresented populations in health, health care and academia in the coming months. 

Sincerely,
Bruce Wintroub