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Diversity at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine
In order to aspire to and attain the vision of Touro University California (TUC) for “inspirational teaching and scholarship, transformative leadership and exemplary service” we must embrace and dedicate ourselves to the acceptance and appreciation of diversity. Likewise, we believe that the only way we can achieve the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s vision “to prepare outstanding osteopathic physicians for the future needs of their patients and communities” is to create a culture and environment that is fully inclusive representing a diverse group of students, staff, faculty and leaders. To establish meaningful solutions, encourage important innovation, and thoroughly address the needs of a broadly diverse society, we must ensure that we are fostering inclusion, educating about disparity and social determinants of health, understanding of multi-cultural issues, and examining solutions that include the full spectrum of perspectives, experiences and opinions.
Our approach to achieve our vision with respect to diversity is twofold.
- First, in developing our programs we actively seek those from all walks of life who are the best and brightest while embracing our values of social justice, intellectual pursuit, and service to humanity.
- Second, our educational focus is to prepare students for the practice of medicine not only for today, but also for decades to come. To accomplish this requires an understanding of the importance of diversity that extends beyond race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status but also encompasses other qualities that embody all that we as a global society represent.
- Specifically, we have developed robust programs in primary and preventative care, global health, public health, and inter-professionalism all based on a hands-on osteopathic approach that emphasizes empathy, mindfulness, and the need to effectively communicate with all individuals. Utilizing this approach we hope to close the loop from recruitment to practice, such that we will attract a diverse group of professionals who want to learn how to DO what we DO to benefit and aid our diverse constituency. This is what we call the D.O. difference in diversity.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Students from the SGA Committee on Diversity & Inclusion have begun incorporating workshops in Structural Competency within the COM to improve the capacity for TUCCOM graduates to “recognize and respond to health and illness as the downstream effects of social, political, and economic structures” (Neff, J & Metzl, J.M). In Structural Competency workshops, students engage critically with their role as future doctors in deconstructing structural forces (like systemic racism and healthcare policy) that perpetuate persistent health disparities in marginalized communities. Most recently, the class of 2020 participated in a case-based discussion of the manifestation of systemic racism within the context of a pediatric patient experiencing asthma. Students identified structural factors contributing to the patient’s ongoing asthma (such as growing up in a neighborhood with high exposure to particulate matter from freeways and industrial waste). Then students identified the challenges of advocating for this patient to achieve the best possible outcome, within the constraints of providing clinical care as a physician. In fact, the citizenship of physicians are informed by proximity to the suffering of individuals, rather than the statistics that identify health disparities. By teaching medical students to assess the structural vulnerability of patients, we hope to prepare TUCCOM graduates to lend themselves to advocacy for systemic change outside of the clinic, in order to improve the best possible health outcomes within the populations they serve.
COM 2017 Diversity Scholarship Recipients
We are pleased to announce our first ever COM Diversity Scholarship recipients for the 2017-2018 school year.
COM Diversity Selection Committee was comprised of seven faculty volunteers whose intention was to have one recipient, but since there were so many great applicants there was a three-way tie! These young women are passionate students, dedicated to their community and driven to make the world a better place. These three recipients fully embody TUCOM’s vision and they are:
Hong Le, OMS III $3,333 Scholarship
Vivian Partida, OMS III $3,333 Scholarship
Evelyn Martinez-Salazar OMS III $3,333 Scholarship
By having this first Diversity Scholarship process completed, we reaffirm TUCOM’s vision “to prepare outstanding osteopathic physicians for the future needs of their patients and communities” to create a culture and environment that is fully inclusive representing a diverse group of students, staff, faculty and leaders.
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity
for our community...Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations
and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
― Cesar Chavez
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