In order to advance the health of our communities both locally and globally, provide the best clinical care, conduct innovative research, and educate the leaders of tomorrow, Washington University School of Medicine is committed to continuously striving to be a culture that supports diversity, inclusion, critical thinking and creativity.

The School of Medicine’s mission, vision and commitment to diversity is at the heart of all diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Initiatives by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion include:

  • Raising awareness and understanding of the value of diversity, equity and inclusion in the campus community
  • Developing and sharing strategies and educational methods to enhance inclusivity in our organizational culture
  • Supporting efforts to attract and develop a diverse and talented student body and workforce
  • Developing and improving the career development paths for underrepresented minorities working at the School of Medicine

Research and data indicate that the highest functioning workplace teams are those that have greater diversity among members and are encouraged and taught to excel in collaboration.

Divisions that support our work

Core areas of focus housed within the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion include:

A young Black woman wearing a white physicians coat holds a handwritten sign that says: "My white coat means ... to commit to lifelong learning, humility and the fight for equity in science and medicine! 'Ndoto Zinatimia'"

MD Diversity Programs

Enhances the medical educational environment through recruitment of a culturally diverse academic workforce, while preparing a diverse student body to become leaders in a vibrant, global society. Offers programs for high school students; current students, trainees and junior faculty; visiting medical students and more.

Summer scholar Jakayla Folarin-Hines, left, meets with Victora Brings, PhD, right, to present and get feedback on her research.

Academic Pathway Programs

Builds an intentional and deliberate infrastructure to improve efforts in recruiting, retaining, and developing underrepresented applicants in medicine (UiM) and the STEM workforce. Connects high school, college, and doctoral students with educational and scientific activities which otherwise may be inaccessible.

A group of people examines and discusses a timeline documenting the medical campus history of segregation and desegregation.

Programming and Professional Development

Provides education, programming and consultation to the WashU Med community for increased understanding and skill development around the work of diversity, equity and inclusion, utilizing frameworks for culture change, restorative justice, health equity, community building and self-compassion.

Beyond our office, an ever-growing network of groups, organizations and initiatives extend and amplify our efforts.

What do we mean by diversity, equity and inclusion?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are three specific ideas that work in concert. The definitions below are adapted from the Association of American Medical Colleges.


We are mindful of all dimensions of human differences and define diversity in the broadest sense to mean inclusion of all persons regardless of racial and ethnic background, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, religious beliefs, ability, age and socioeconomic status. Diversity embodies inclusiveness, mutual respect, multiple perspectives, and serves as a catalyst for change resulting in health equity.


We strive to ensure that all members of the WUSM community have access to opportunity and can attain their full potential by promoting fair treatment and proactively working to remove barriers that have prevented full participation by some populations. We recognize that equity is not achieved by treating everyone equally, rather by treating everyone equitably.


We achieve inclusion by nurturing the climate and culture of the institution through professional development, education, policy, and practice. The objective is to create a climate that fosters belonging, shared respect, and value for all and encourage engagement and connection throughout the institution and community. Inclusion is a core element for successfully achieving diversity.

Backed by a strong commitment from leadership and a network of offices and initiatives dedicated to increasing diversity, Washington University School of Medicine is laying the foundation for a stronger, more equitable campus and community.

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