Environment Strategies

To achieve our goals of a diverse, inclusive and empowered workplace, we are focused on defining core aspects of diversity; examining gaps in diversity and systematic bias; creating a custom implicit bias training program; implementing an explicit strategy to improve equality; and addressing diverse needs of individuals to foster a more comfortable work environment. We will establish an ongoing educational process for cultural competence and implicit bias awareness.

Cultural competence is the ability to interact effectively with people across different cultures. The components of cultural competence are awareness of one’s own cultural worldview (and biases), a positive attitude towards cultural differences, knowledge of different cultural practices, and cross-cultural communication skills. By building our collective cultural competence and intelligence in the Department of Surgery, we will promote an inclusive work environment where all individuals thrive.

Culture Crew

Department of Surgery Mission: Compassionate care for patients. Innovative research for surgery. Training for 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 intentionally 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, and wellness, and fosters a sense of pride and excellence in our daily work.

In order to accomplish the Department of Surgery mission, we have created the following objectives:

  1. Create a physical and social environment, which represents and supports individual differences and an inclusive workplace.
  2. Provide education, training, and support to improve cultural competency and to promote inclusion.
  3. Create innovative methods to raise cultural awareness and foster collaboration and communication in safe environments.
  4. Develop meaningful, ongoing assessments that demonstrate efforts for continuous and strategic improvement of our current workplace culture.
  5. Promote and sustain wellness and mental health so that our faculty, staff and learners can be most effective and fulfilled.
  6. Strengthen connection, collaboration, and outreach across disciplines and with the surrounding community.
  7. Support mechanisms that ensure transparency and accountability from the institution, leadership, and one another.

Cultural Competence

We will establish an ongoing educational process for cultural awareness and competence. This will start with a full assessment of the current state of cultural competence in the Department of Surgery (by focused interviews, conversations, surveys, town hall meetings, and other known mechanisms for feedback collection):

  • We will determine what cultural competence means for faculty, trainees, and administrative staff.
  • We will assess where we are now and what we would like to achieve in 5 years to raise our cultural competence.
  • We will define the core aspects of diversity (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age, disability, ideology) in the context of culture in the Department of Surgery.
  • We will determine the unique challenges for faculty and resident groups underrepresented in surgery.

Bias Awareness and Training

Implicit biases can perpetuate disparities in impactful areas such as policy development, hiring, and leadership opportunities. Subtle biases that we are unaware of can create an environment in which not everyone is or feels included. By implementing a collective strategy to address implicit bias, we strengthen both individual surgeons and the collective Department of Surgery.

Equity and Inclusion

We will create an atmosphere in which multiple voices are amplified and their opinions are considered and valued. We will continually innovate the ideal culture for surgical faculty and resident development and excellence for all individuals; one that transcends diverse groups and those underrepresented in surgery.