News & Announcements

Residents and Fellows Diversity Initiative accepting applications for 2021 program

Established in 2006 by the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, the Residents and Fellows Diversity Initiative (RFDI) serves as the primary effort to improve the recruitment and retention of residents and fellows who are underrepresented minorities in medicine as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) on the Washington University Medical Campus (WUMC).

The RFDI focuses on promoting a diverse and inclusive environment within our community in order to better advance health equity in the communities we serve. Residents and fellows will participate in a yearlong program designed to increase their sense of belonging within WUMC, receive mentorship from campus leaders, and engage with the community. The end of the program will culminate in residents and fellows presenting a capstone project related to diversity, equity and inclusion to WUMC leadership. 

Application open:
January 11 – February 26, 2021

Eligibility requirements:

  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital residents or fellows
  • A commitment to community engagement and service-learning
  • A commitment to advancing health equity in the communities we serve
  • Passion for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Good standing in your department via approval from program director

All interested applicants are encouraged to apply. Selected participants will be notified in late February / early March. Please keep responses to each essay question to a minimum of 300 words.

We look forward to receiving your application and working to make the WUMC community a more inclusive and belonging space for all.

More about the RFDI

This year’s Residents and Fellows Diversity Initiative program will begin in March and end in November 2021, with participants required to meet virtually on a monthly basis for up to 2 hours to participate in various program activities. Exact meeting dates will be determined prior to the start of the program based on the availability of selected participants. Participation is a 9-month commitment.

Successful completion of the program will result in a grant award of $4,000 that will be considered taxable income as long as they remain in good standing in their training programs, active in RFDI activities, commit to regular attendance at meetings, work collaboratively, and submit a capstone project.

In years past, participants of RFDI have used their lived experiences to inform ideas on how to reduce health disparities in medicine. However, 2020 highlighted the continued burden that all as individuals experience regarding visible and active social injustices perpetuated by systemic racism. Therefore the main theme of this year’s program is to understand why underrepresented minorities in medicine choose not to continue their careers at WUMC. This year’s program will focus on four key areas:

  • Belonging: Using your story / identity to connect
  • Mentorship: Leveraging leaders to drive change
  • Education: Informing conversations and redefining culture
  • Service: Engaging with the community

Questions about the RFDI?

If you have questions or comments about this program, please contact Winston Wright at or Audrey Coolman at