AACOM's Diversity Committee had its inaugural meeting December 5-6, 2016. Twenty-one diversity representatives from the colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) attended, along with AACOM staff and special guests.
AACOM President and CEO Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
, opened the meeting by welcoming the group to the AACOM headquarters and introducing the Association’s goals related to increasing diversity in medical education
. AACOM’s mission to actively support excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education requires us to focus on increasing diversity. Dr. Shannon also expressed to the group that while this meeting has been long overdue, the issue of diversity will be kept at the forefront of AACOM planning and activities.
The Diversity Committee meeting included two guest speakers, Renay Scales, PhD, Director of Faculty Development and Associate Professor in Family Medicine, University of Pikeville Kentucky Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (UP-KYCOM), and Laura Castillo-Page, PhD, Interim Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The group used the meeting to discuss broad topics related to diversity in medical education and medicine, including its definition and meaning, research related to diversity issues, as well as articles relevant to diversity in medicine. Each COM representative shared their campus’s current efforts to increase diversity, and AACOM provided an update on its recruitment activities, as well as its Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship Program.
The Diversity Committee also began to draft a mission statement and formulate a committee structure, and plans to continue the work started at the meeting through AACOM’s online discussion forum, AACOMmunities.