The faculty, staff and training residents of Tulane Psychiatry, all want to be part of an organization that is committed to upholding the values of inclusivity, equity, and diversity. We understand that this statement is only the beginning of an ongoing discussion and not a substitute for action and change.
As recent events have shed light on deeply concerning issues of racism within our Tulane community and society as a whole, we acknowledge that these concerns are interconnected with those that are local and global, from the past and in the present. We acknowledge our own complicated history is filled with examples when we have proudly served our community, and painful examples of when we have fallen short. We see this as an opportunity to be held accountable for positive change through recruitment, education, mentorship, and advocacy.
The department is committed to fostering a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our culture. They advertise for faculty on a variety of sites and periodicals in order to appeal to a wide demographic across multiple data points, and are currently interviewing for a Chief EDI Officer whose duties will include working closely with faculty and staff search committees, residency and fellowship program leadership, and department/division leadership to provide effective strategies for identifying diverse candidates, retention, and addressing and mitigating bias in the screening and selection processes.
The training programs are dedicated to the recruitment of individuals who bring a wide range of demographics to the residency, including race, gender, ethnicity, age, religious affiliations, national origin, and of sexual orientation, abilities, talents, and interests. Our recruiters are trained to seek out diverse applicants. Our residents are active participants in recruitment season, including application reviews, interviewing, and in rank list selection. During the resident selection process, we focus on data points other that just board scores or publications. For example, we look closely at the hobbies and interest section so that we can interview a class that has a wide range of different interests. We encourage residents to develop bonds outside of work, and have had residents form trivia teams, intramural sports teams, and even a music band. Each year one of our training directors attends various meetings including the American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry so that we may advertise to candidates from different areas of the country and different cultural backgrounds. We also participate in virtual residency fairs for underrepresented medical students. We allow time off to observe holidays for diverse religions and have policies in place for maternal and paternal leave. The city of New Orleans and Tulane University foster engagement with the LGBTQ community as well. We are fortunate that Tulane has many faculty certified as diversity mentors through Tulane, including in the psychiatry department.
We believe that education plays a key role in cultivating equity, diversity and inclusion, as are committed to furthering the knowledge and competency of its residents, fellows, and faculty. The department has had a Diversity Committee since 2016 to promote diversity and inclusion in resident curriculum. They created a curriculum for residents and psychology trainees that includes group discussions on tenets related to undoing racism, and diversity and healthcare equality. In addition, residents have the opportunity to participate in a variety of diversity action groups such as a steering committee, a discussion group with a specific focus on issues of diversity that arise in the clinical and academic setting specific focus on issues of diversity that arise in the clinical and academic setting, self-improvement, recruitment and retention, curriculum and training, community involvement group, film club, and book club. Subsequently these groups met monthly. The department is also invested in providing didactic curriculum on equity, diversity and inclusion. For example, last year on quarter of our Grand Rounds were dedicated to healthcare disparities, implicit bias, and cultural psychiatry. The resident’s also have a cultural psychiatry course to promote proficiency in these domains.
We are incredibly proud to train and practice in New Orleans, one of the most special, resilient, and eclectic cities in our country. We commit to seeing our patients as more than just patients, but as individuals who make up the backbone of New Orleans, who contribute to the wonderful and unique community for which we are known. This means that we approach every interaction as a chance to embrace humility, to learn from our shared humanity and our lived histories.
We believe that not only our program, but all people will only be able to flourish when we truly commit to valuing diversity in race, ethnicity, gender identity, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. It is imperative that the education and training within our department and all of Tulane be such a space.