Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

The University of the Incarnate Word is known for celebrating the rich diversity of its students, faculty and staff. Our founders, three young religious women from France, overcame many obstacles (distance, language, travel) to realize their vision for a better world. Today, UIW serves as a global hub for everyone. 

"Real change starts inwardly, from the transformation of our hearts. It can only be sparked and fueled by a power greater than our own; one that empowers us to fulfill the unique purpose and destiny for which we were created. I believe in justice, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. I believe that we at the UIWSOM can create a microcosm of diversity, inclusion and mutual respect from which justice, mercy and lasting change can flow." 

--Robyn Phillips-Madson, DO MPH, Founding Dean, UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine

"We, members of the University of the Incarnate Word's family, are a community of faith called to see Jesus Christ in the persons of a multitude of sufferers. Hence, we commit to continue working to defend and promote the human dignity of all God's children; to work toward a most just society that addresses the systemic roots and heals the deep wounds of racism; and to ensure the safety and well-being of all so that our entire society can benefit from the unique gifts and talents each individual brings for the betterment of the whole."

--Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI, Vice President, Mission & Ministry, UIW

Read more from Sr. Walter Maher and UIW President Thomas M. Evans PhD in The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - June 5, 2020

Please take time to review resources below for more information about diversity, inclusion, and equity in the field of medicine. 

The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine is fully committed to educating employees, students, and all members of the community. Please take time review resources below for more information.

AACOM Message on Racism and Injustice

Visit the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) for more information on how AACOM is re -committing to educate and train future generations of health professionals who embody the whole fabric of the nation, not just to address disparities in healthcare, but also to improve the overall health of  all   people, especially those who are most vulnerable. AACOM has established an ongoing commitment to increase faculty, staff, and student awareness and understanding of issues of diversity and inclusion through professional development programs. Review resources available at their website for more information.

American Medical Association

Stay up-to-date with the latest on diversity in medical school, including recent news and policy coverage. The American Medical Association (AMA) has long been committed to reducing disparities in medical school admissions. Visit their diversity homepage for more information.

AOA Statement Denouncing Racism and Inequality

Read about The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and their long-standing commitment to addressing health disparities and supporting programs aimed at reducing violence of all kinds, including those that have a disproportionate impact on minority communities.

What You Can Do About Racial Tensions by Ken Sande (Founder of Relational Wisdom-360-Going Beyond Emotional IntelligenceTM and author of The Peacemaker)

Read and learn more about Mr. Ken Sande's message.

Racism and Reconciliation: Reversing Racism's Effect on Healthcare - Christian Medical and Dental Associations

Learn how the Christian Medical and Dental Associations are working to be part of the solution, specifically for the profession of healthcare.

Talking About Race/Being Antiracist - National Museum of African-American History and Culture

Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution to participate in the their conversation about race and learn how to be an antiracist.

Changing How Race Is Portrayed in Medical Education: Recommendations From Medical Students.

Nieblas-Bedolla, E., Christophers, B., Nkinsi, N. T., Schumann, P. D., and Stein, E. (2020).   Changing How Race Is Portrayed in Medical Education: Recommendations From Medical StudentsAcademic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.


The medical community has been complicit in legitimizing claims of racial difference throughout the history of the United States. Unfortunately, a rigorous examination of the role medicine plays in perpetuating inequity across racial lines is often missing in medical school curricula due to time constraints and other challenges inherent to medical education. The imprecise use of race—a social construct—as a proxy for pathology in medical education is a vestige of institutionalized racism. Recent examples are presented that illustrate how attributing outcomes to race may contribute to bias and unequal care. This paper proposes the following recommendations for guiding efforts to mitigate the adverse effects associated with the use of race in medical education: emphasize the need for incoming students to be familiar with how race can influence health outcomes; provide opportunities to hold open conversations about race in medicine among medical school faculty, students, and staff; craft and implement protocols that address and correct the inappropriate use of race in medical school classes and course materials; and encourage a large cultural shift within the field of medicine. Adoption of an interdisciplinary approach that taps into many fields, including ethics, history, sociology, evolutionary genetics, and public health is a necessary step for cultivating more thoughtful physicians who will be better prepared to care for patients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

An Institutional Approach to Fostering Inclusion and Addressing Racial Bias: Implications for Diversity in Academic Medicine.

Diaz, T., Navarro, J. R., and Chen, E. H. (2020).   An Institutional Approach to Fostering Inclusion and Addressing Racial Bias: Implications for Diversity in Academic Medicine.  Teaching and Learning in Medicine32(1), 110-116.



While an increasingly diverse workforce of clinicians, researchers, and educators will be needed to address the nation’s future healthcare challenges, underrepresented in medicine (UIM) perspectives remain relatively absent from academic medicine.


Prior studies have identified differential experiences within the learning environment, lack of social supports, and implicit bias in evaluations as barriers to the academic interests and successes of UIM learners. The UCSF Differences Matter initiative has shown that interventions focused on recruiting diverse academic faculty, building strong social communities, facilitating cross-cultural communication and understanding, and mitigating disparities in summative assessments can positively affect the educational experience for UIM learners and contribute to their academic success.


Institution-level initiatives are needed to foster a culture of inclusion, teach cultural humility, and build a culture of trust within academic medicine. Such initiatives should aim to teach a common language to discuss diversity issues and place the responsibility of fostering inclusion on all members of the academic community. Our own institutional experience with systemic cultural reform challenges others to develop novel approaches toward fostering inclusion in academic medicine.

Medical Students' Implicit Bias and the Communication of Norms in Medical Education.

Hernandez, R. (2018). Medical Students' Implicit Bias and the Communication of Norms in Medical EducationTeaching and Learning in Medicine30(1), 112-117.



Medical educators should consider how institutional norms influence medical students' perceptions of implicit bias. Understanding normative structures in medical education can shed light on why this influence is associated with students' resistance to implicit bias.


Extant research across diverse fields of study uncovers and theorizes layers of norms and normative systems and how they are related to ethical behavior. This review bridges the fields of communication, bioethics, and medical education, constructing an organized foundation and common language by which researchers can build effective educational interventions. First, the nature and effects of implicit bias are described. Second, the nature of normative systems in medical education is explicated. Concepts from the fields of education and communication are transferred to medical education. Third, the structure of the communication of norms in medical education is revealed, through theoretical research in bioethics and empirical medical education research.


Recommendations are provided for medical educators to improve activities intended to encourage reflection on implicit bias. These recommendations include reframing educational activities as endeavors in “personal” development and uncovering and transforming those normative structures that encourage resistance to implicit bias.