Medical Education Diversity and Inclusion Effort gets $400K Shot in the Arm

Programs designed to mentor aspiring doctors and build a trustworthy health care system

Today, leading internal medicine organizations announced the awarding of grants designed to improve the quality of education and training to build a more trustworthy health system.

The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the ABIM Foundation, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation have awarded a total of $400,000, split among 24 projects at medical schools and training programs.

Grantees will use this funding to support programs that incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into internal medicine education and training. Selected projects emphasize inter-professional projects that incorporate members from across the care team.

Grants will be distributed at the $20,000 and $10,000 levels, depending on the scope of the program. Examples of funded projects include:

  • Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University will launch a mentorship program for Northeast Ohio high school students from communities that have been historically marginalized considering a career in medicine or health care. Students will participate in career exploratory panels, plan their undergraduate education, and prepare for a career in health care while learning techniques to foster resilience, overcome barriers, and seize unique career opportunities.
  • Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Stockton, California will use didactic education and experiential opportunities with community-based organizations and opportunity youth to enhance internal medicine residents’ understanding of the relationship between social determinants of health and the importance of health equity. Black, southeast Asian and Hispanic community members’ trust will be measured, and medical residents will follow a cultural competency/sensitivity curriculum to increase their awareness of the beliefs, values and biases they bring to patient encounters, and improve their ability to interact effectively with individuals different from themselves.
  • Advocate Aurora Health will create a focused project devoted to environmental health, a root cause of inequity, through (1) establishing an environmental health elective for the residency, and (2) hosting two interprofessional grand rounds accredited continuing education sessions focusing on the intersection of climate and racism. In the elective, residents will work with community partners to achieve a targeted environmental health goal and rotate with community health nurses to assess environmental barriers to health.

“The Alliance is thrilled with the growth of this grants program through collaboration. Advancing DEI in undergraduate and graduate medical education is critical to our mission and funding these innovations will continue to move the needle in building an equitable and trusted health care system,” said Shobhina G. Chheda, MD, MPH, Chair of the AAIM Board of Directors, Professor in the Department of Medicine and Associate Dean for Medical Education at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.”

“We must intentionally increase diversity, equity and inclusion perspectives and learnings within medical education and training as a fundamental component to improving medical efficacies for all populations,” said Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP, president of ACP. “Through these grants, ACP is proud to further stimulate and accelerate activities across the nation toward advancing equity.”

The first round of grants in 2020 brought in 170 applications, from which 32 projects at medical schools and training programs were selected. This round received 116 applications from health systems and universities across the U.S.

“Reversing decades of grotesque inequity will require medical schools to reevaluate their curriculum and training programs until we have a system that is truly diverse and inclusive. It will also require persistence and a ton of patience,” says Richard J. Baron, MD, president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation. “We will stick with it until we get a system of care in which all Americans can participate equally.”

“For far too long, patients and health care professionals from groups historically underrepresented in medicine have not felt as if they belong in our health system, hospitals, clinics, training programs or medical schools,” said Holly J. Humphrey, MD, MACP, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. “These grants, by focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion in internal medicine, are one way to stimulate change so that all who seek care, along with those learning to provide care, feel they belong and can trust the care they receive or are learning to provide.”

Organizations receiving grant funding include:

  • Advocate Aurora Health
  • Allegheny Health Network
  • Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
  • Columbia University
  • Cooper Medical School at Rowan University
  • Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Stockton, California
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Geisinger
  • Honor Health
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Lankenau Medical Center
  • Oregon Health & Science University
  • Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Temple University
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of California-San Diego
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Texas – Houston
  • University of Texas Medical Branch
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • University of Washington
  • Yale New Haven Hospital


About the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
AAIM represents over 11,000 academic internal medicine faculty and administrators at medical schools and community-based teaching hospitals in the US and Canada. Its mission is to promote the advancement and professional development of its members, who prepare the next generation of internal medicine physicians and leaders through education, research, engagement, and collaboration. Follow AAIM on Twitter @AAIMOnline.

About the American Board of Internal Medicine
Since its founding in 1936 to answer a public call to establish more uniform standards for physicians, certification by the ABIM has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 21 subspecialties. Certification has meant that internists have demonstrated – to their peers and to the public – that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care. ABIM is not a membership society, but a physician-led, non-profit, independent evaluation organization. Our accountability is both to the profession of medicine and to the public.

About the ABIM Foundation

The ABIM Foundation’s mission is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policymakers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit, connect on LinkedIn or follow on Twitter.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

About the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
Since 1930, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has worked to improve health care in the United States. Founded by Kate Macy Ladd in memory of her father, prominent businessman Josiah Macy Jr., the Foundation supports projects that broaden and improve health professional education. It is the only national foundation solely dedicated to this mission. Visit the Macy Foundation at and follow on Twitter at @macyfoundation.


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Jaime McClennen