Established in 1968, the Office of Minority Affairs at the Perelman School of Medicine, later known as the Office of Diversity and Community Outreach in Undergraduate Medical Education (Diversity UME) was the first of its kind among the 135 U.S. medical schools at that time. Among its many responsibilities were efforts to recruit and retain medical students from groups, which are underrepresented in medicine.
In an effort to further increase diversity and inclusion efforts in the school, and to further formalize faculty’s role in the development of diversity and inclusion, the office underwent a major reorganization in the summer of 2012 with the establishment of the “Program for Diversity and Inclusion”. This initiative was the result of a process that began more than three years earlier to strengthen and expand the efforts of the Academic Programs Office to promote a diverse and inclusive medical student community. The goals of the program are to:
- facilitate the cohesion and capacity of the various cultural affinity groups
- provide emotional support, mentoring and advising
- enable student participation in community health, engagement and outreach
- promote medical student diversity