A medical education program must develop programs or partnerships aimed at broadening diversity among qualified applicants for medical school admission.
Because graduates of U.S. and Canadian medical schools may practice anywhere in their respective countries, it is expected that an institution that offers a medical education program will recognize its collective responsibility for contributing to the diversity of the profession as a whole. To that end, a medical education program should work within its own institutions and/or collaborate with other institutions to make admission to medical education programs more accessible to potential applicants of diverse backgrounds. Institutions can accomplish that aim through a variety of approaches, including, but not limited to, the development and institutionalization of pipeline programs, collaborations with institutions and organizations that serve students from disadvantaged backgrounds, community service activities that heighten awareness of and interest in the profession, and academic enrichment programs for applicants who may not have taken traditional pre-medical coursework.
An institution that offers a medical education program should make available sufficient opportunities for medical students to participate in service-learning activities and should encourage and support medical student participation.
"Service-learning" is defined as a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Medical students engaged in service-learning provide community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens and professionals.
"Sufficient opportunities" means that medical students who wish to participate in a service-learning activity will have the opportunity to do so. To encourage medical student participation, institutions could, for example, develop opportunities in conjunction with relevant communities or partnerships, provide information about available opportunities, offer elective credit for participation, or hold public presentations or public forums. Support for medical student participation could include offering or providing information about financial and social support for medical student service-learning (e.g., stipends, faculty preceptors, community partnerships).
An institution that offers a medical education program must have policies and practices to achieve appropriate diversity among its students, faculty, staff, and other members of its academic community, and must engage in ongoing, systematic, and focused efforts to attract and retain students, faculty, staff, and others from demographically diverse backgrounds.
The LCME and the CACMS believe that aspiring future physicians will be best prepared for medical practice in a diverse society if they learn in an environment characterized by, and supportive of, diversity and inclusion. Such an environment will facilitate physician training in:
- Basic principles of culturally competent health care.
- Recognition of health care disparities and the development of solutions to such burdens.
- The importance of meeting the health care needs of medically underserved populations.
- The development of core professional attributes (e.g., altruism, social accountability) needed to provide effective care in a multidimensionally diverse society.
The institution should articulate its expectations regarding diversity across its academic community in the context of local and national responsibilities, and regularly assess how well such expectations are being achieved. The institution should consider in its planning elements of diversity including, but not limited to, gender, racial, cultural, and economic factors. The institution should establish focused, significant, and sustained programs to recruit and retain suitably diverse students, faculty members, staff, and others.