Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Guest Lectureship: Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD

Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD
Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD

In April, Kellogg’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee sponsored a grand rounds presentation by guest lecturer and Kellogg faculty alumna Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD.

A glaucoma specialist, Dr. Higginbotham is the inaugural Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania. Recently adding to her impressive list of career milestones, she was elected President of the AΩA Medical Honor Society in 2017 and was elected to the Council of the National Academy of Medicine in 2018. She is also a Vice Chair of the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, which is completing 20 years of follow-up of enrolled patients. Dr. Higginbotham led the study at the Kellogg Eye Center when she was a faculty member at Michigan.

“Dr. Higginbotham is a true leader in combining clinical and public health research to improve the health of individuals and communities, “ says Kellogg Director Paul P. Lee, MD, JD. “It’s wonderful to welcome her back to share her insights and wisdom.”

Using the backdrop of a patient case, Dr. Higginbotham’s presentation, Unpacking the Hidden Factors Shaping the Care of Our Patients, challenged residents and medical students to see the practice of ophthalmology from multiple perspectives: the patient, the physician, the medical practice and the community. Through an evidence-based lens, she examined each, citing research into factors as wide-ranging as patient perceptions, the impact of comorbidities, physician bias, motivators and barriers in practices, and the moral imperatives and economic disparities of communities. 

“To deliver the best care,” says Dr. Higginbotham, “we need to think broadly and use evidence mindfully. We need to see our patients as far more than the symptoms they present. We need to unpack the hidden factors driving not just our patients, but our colleagues, our communities and ourselves.”