Ohio State University’s Medical Center Gets an ‘A’ for Wokeness in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey

by Alexa Schwerha

 

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center detailed in a survey how it incorporates diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into its hiring and admissions practices, according to materials obtained in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Do No Harm, an education watchdog group.

The survey, obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, was administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and asked the school to detail how it commits itself to DEI standards in categories including leadership and mission, faculty and staff, students and communication and engagement. It shows the center has made diversity “central” to its mission as “a driver of institutional excellence.”

Laura Morgan, Do No Harm’s program manager, told the DCNF that the survey “should worry everybody in America who attends or sends their children to a med school, or even somebody who may even require healthcare someday, because the only curriculum that’s important in medical education is how to recognize and respond to illness and injury.”

“So what this survey is looking for is for programs who are implementing things that don’t have anything to do with what perspective physicians should be taught,” she explained.

Overall, the survey indicated that the OSU Wexner Medical Center has implemented 93.3% of the policies recommended by the AAMC, meaning that it makes “substantial [DEI] efforts.”

The school shared that it assesses how committed to DEI candidates are during the hiring process, according to the survey results. The school wrote that it asks “DEI-specific” questions when interviewing for high-level positions.

It also provides anti-racist mentorship programs for staff looking “to advance to a more senior administrative position” through its “Anti-Racism Action Plan (ARAP) Employee Engagement and Advancement Champion Group.”

OSU’s medical center also recruits “diverse” faculty members by spearheading initiatives that cater to race, according to one survey response.

The Ohio State University Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) implemented a Provost’s Tenure-Track Fellow to Faculty Program for the fall 2022 or spring 2023 semester, according to the survey. It is aimed at hiring a candidate who “will contribute to a climate that values diversity and inclusion in the areas of scholarship, creative expression and/or community engagement.”

“Proposals for the 2022–2023 cohort should focus on recruiting early-career scholars whose research aligns with the recently announced Race, Inclusion and Social Equity (RAISE) initiative,” the school wrote, detailing that some areas of interest included Race and Health Equity, Race and Educational Equity and Race, Justice and Public Safety.

The OAA intends to invest “$75,000 towards annual salary per year for the two fellowship years, $10,000 for research and professional development per year for two years, and up to $5,000 in one-time moving expenses.” For assistant professors, the OAA will pay a $100,000 salary for five years while other expenses will fall under the “department/college.”

The school also said that it “supports 10 Employee Resource Groups” which are “voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with [the center’s] mission, values and goals.”

“Physicians don’t need to use valuable training time and curriculum space with anti-racism and diversity, equity and inclusion, and so when they downgrade this role of academic excellence in favor of political and social ideologies, it really puts the quality of healthcare at real risk,” Morgan told the DCNF.

The DICE Inventory is a tool designed to aid leaders in conducting a comprehensive review of institutional policies, practices, procedures, and programs that contribute to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture and climate for students, faculty, staff, and administrators,” David A. Acosta, MD, AAMC chief diversity and inclusion officer, told the DCNF. “Using the DICE Inventory helped medical schools identify areas for improvement for creating a holistic strategy where DEI is integrated into all operations and mission areas. Medical schools reported plans to use their findings from the DICE Inventory to begin making policy changes, inform their strategic planning, and support ongoing improvement efforts.” 

In another section of the survey, OSU’s medical center detailed the diversity of it leadership team and confirmed that its mission statement included a reference to “a broad range of demographic groups and identities beyond race/ethnicity and gender.”

“The mission of the Ohio State University Medical Center is to improve people’s lives through innovation in research, education and patient care,” the mission statement reads. “Diversity is central to our academic medical center mission and serves as a driver of institutional excellence. We recognize diversity as relating to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability.

It also claimed to support diversity among the student body by using a “holistic admissions” standard, which considers facts outside of test scores for admission. The school also admitted to using “scholarship funds … to recruit and retain a diverse student body.

“Focusing on skin color or gender as the basis for entering into a medical training program or being promoted in a medical college it really corrupts the system and denies what the significant things we’re supposed to do, which is patient safety and welfare,” Morgan said.

OSU Wexner Medical Center and the Office of Academic Affairs did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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Alexa Schwerha is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Wexner Medical Center” by Jsjessee. CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

 

 


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