Our teams strive to create a workplace where all faculty and residents are empowered to achieve their best in an academic environment that explores, continually improves, and celebrates the core values of well-being, diversity, and professional excellence in an intentionally inclusive environment.

Our Initiatives

Department of Surgery Mission: Compassionate care for patients. Innovative research for surgery. Training the next leaders and best.

The success of the Department of Surgery rests largely on a culture in which individuals are supported to advance and thrive. Our goal is to promote and protect an environment that cultivates and supports academic and clinical excellence, discovery, and innovation; one that celebrates individual differences, honors our shared values of inclusion, collaboration, accountability, and well-being, and fosters a sense of purpose and pride in our daily work.

The Department of Surgery at Michigan Medicine is dedicated to the safety of all patients, families, employees, and learners who come into our hospitals and clinics. We strive to be an anti-racist institution that is dedicated to supporting policies and practices aimed at eliminating health disparities, improving access to care for all communities, and building a culture that ensures safety and a sense of belonging for everyone. We stand together against intolerant or disrespectful behavior and condemn racism in any form.

The Culture Crew is a group of faculty members, residents, allied health professionals, and staff dedicated to enhancing culture in the Department of Surgery. Task teams focus on specific initiatives including:

  • Culture Sub-Crews: Supporting committed Culture Crew teams at the section/division level to build positive culture day-to-day within work units
  • Assessment: Using a variety of instruments and data sources to measure culture, identify areas of improvement, and collaborate with other teams to meet priority needs of the Surgery community
  • Training: Facilitation and delivery of trainings including Bystander, Upstander, Implicit Bias, mental health and wellness, High Performance Teams
  • #WeAreUmichSurgery: A printed and digital showcase to make visible the rich diversity of surgeon phenotypes in the department to raise awareness of the depth and breadth of our expertise
  • Book Club: Creating dedicated space for continual learning and connection through investigation and discussion of culturally relevant and inclusive texts and topics

The Culture Crew hosts an annual retreat for members to gather to assess progress towards environmental goals, address evolving strategy, and foster communication and connection in the Department of Surgery.


The Michigan Medicine Department of Surgery is committed to cultivating wellness through awareness, education, resources, and a supportive environment. The department offers a variety of channels for faculty members, residents, fellows, and staff members to seek support or provide feedback around wellness.

Cultural Complications Curriculum

The cultural complications curriculum provides dedicated time and curricula to address and discuss cultural competency, patient and provider relations, trainee experiences.

Environment Toolkit

The Department of Surgery Culture Crew has created an Environment Toolkit, an evolving collection of value statements, guidelines, and policies which provide a framework for environment-related best practices. The toolkit includes a Patient Bias Protocol, the Michigan Action Progress System (MAPS), a Recruiting for Diversity Primer, and the Cultural Complications Curriculum. We welcome others to model and share these practices. To access the toolkit, please email Laura Rivard, Michigan Promise Program Manager at [email protected].