Diversity Framework

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) has been and remains committed to diversity and inclusion across a broad spectrum of characteristics and issues. At UPSOM diversity encompasses and explores the dimensions of race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, social and economic status, age, physical ability, religion and experience. Since 1967 the UPSOM has sustained a strategic emphasis on increasing participation of U. S. underrepresented minorities (African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and Native Alaskans) in clinical medicine, biomedical research, teaching and service. Accordingly, programs, initiatives and areas of focus have been developed to implement that commitment and maximize the benefits of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our activities.


The mission of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is to improve the health and well-being of individuals and populations through cutting-edge biomedical research, innovative educational programs in medicine and biomedical science, and leadership in academic medicine. We strive to implement this mission with the highest professional and ethical standards, in a culture of diversity and inclusiveness, and in an environment that enables each individual to develop to their fullest potential.  


The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) will achieve and sustain excellence in exceeding the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and the Sullivan Commission’s diversity and inclusion goals and expectations for enrollment, graduation, research, education, climate, community engagement and service.


In our environment, diversity and inclusion are valued, broadly defined and pedagogically supported. Our persistent attention to diversity and inclusion is mission driven. We believe at their core diversity and inclusion stimulates the cultural competencies that enhance clinical effectiveness, inform research and result in effective interaction in cross cultural situations. Our goal is to make certain our students and graduates provide the best and most appropriate care to their patients. We are also concerned about diversity in the physician workforce and the disparities in access to care and medical outcomes for underserved populations.

The following areas of focus build our capacity to develop, implement and assess our diversity and inclusion policies, initiatives and activities:

1. Develop a common understanding and commitment to valuing, achieving and celebrating diversity and Inclusion Initiatives:

  • Distribute School mission and definition of diversity
  • Publish the Framework on the School web-site
  • Provide the Framework to new students at Orientation

2. Create and sustain a welcoming climate and a sense of community for students, faculty and staff. Initiatives:

  • Annually assess and describe the climate
  • Profile minority students, alumni, faculty, residents, fellows and staff in department literature
  • Recognize those who have contributed to achieving department and UPSOM diversity goals

3. Recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student body that is competent, compassionate and committed to service and understands health care in a contemporary social context. Initiatives:

  • Describe the UPSOM population according to the School definition of diversity
  • Formalize a transition program to assist URM students in making a smooth transition to University of Pittsburgh, the School of Medicine (SOM) and Pittsburgh
  • Develop networking and mentoring programs that introduce URM students to each other, other graduate and professional students, SOM local alumni, local physicians, UPMC residents, fellows, SOM faculty and SOM administration
  • Facilitate a professional development program that provides URM students with mentors, a career plan, leadership development and awareness of health care in a contemporary social context
  • Develop a recognition program for student community outreach efforts

4. Recruit develop and retain a diverse academic and administrative workforce. Initiatives:

  • Collaborate in the development of affinity faculty groups that facilitate networking opportunities for med students, faculty, fellows, residents, grad students, postdocs and local alumni
  • Ensure the materials and discussions during the search process identify the scope of the School’s commitment to diversity
  • Develop a diversity search strategy that can be shared by all departments
  • Ensure health disparity issues are incorporated into any relevant research
  • Identify resources for a vertical accountability process so that attaining and sustaining diversity is a key dimension of performance for all faculty managers

5. Ensure that the curriculum content considers contemporary social issues facing medicine and that it fosters inter-cultural and intracultural insight. Initiatives:

  • Increase faculty participation in the Provost Diversity Fellows Program
  • Infuse cultural competence and diversity into the curriculum as appropriate (PBL, TBL, standardized patients, elective and Area of Concentration (AOC) courses
  • Ensure graduates understand health disparities in the contemporary social context of medicine
  • Utilize the Diversity Workshop to introduce MS1s to the diversity and inclusion concepts that will be reinforced throughout the curriculum

6. Encourage research activities be linked to the investigation of the health disparities facing medicine locally, nationally and globally

7. Recruit, develop and retain diverse leadership committed to diversity and inclusion in education, research, service and clinical practice

8. Develop collaborative outreach programs and partnerships at the precollege and pre-medical levels. Initiatives:

  • Strengthen existing pipeline programs, Health Careers Exploration Institute and Pre-medical Organization for Minority Students (P.O.M.S)
  • Effective utilization of SPAEP and Prologue programs to increase UPSOM enrollment
  • Collaborate with the local school districts in the development of programs and initiatives that enhance the access to medicine and medical careers

9. Facilitate organizational change that supports and sustains a commitment to racial, ethnic, gender diversity

10. Provide accessibility and accommodations to individuals with disabilities

11. Provide great insight into the health experiences of our LGBTQIA community through education mentoring and research