PDOCC Stands Against Racism!
We, as physicians, dentists, and optometrists, recognize that racism is a public health emergency. We commit to fighting racism and bringing racial justice to health and medicine. We will start in our communities and also address this on broader issues.
We recognize that diversity, equity, inclusion and allyship (DEIA) is crucial for patient care and will strive to obtain a workforce that reflects our patient population. As an initial step towards this goal, we are supporting the work of the Residency Diversity Council (RDC). We are gathering funds to make a donation to the RDC (click here to see their latest newletter). The PDOCC Executive Board has committed to donate $2000 to the RDC from our general fund. In addition to this, we invite you to make individual donations towards this goal, and PDOCC will match your donation up to a maximum of $2000. For example, if individuals in our membership collectively donate a total of $2000, the RDC will receive a total of $6000 from PDOCC and its members. Please see below for a description of what the funds would be used for.
PDOCC leadership has also been active in advocating for our members to be compensated for the time and energy they spend working on anti-racism work. It is extremely important that we acknowledge the contributions of our colleagues who have already been engaged in this work and who will continue it in the future. This work is of extreme importance, requiring significant time and energy. Our URM (Under Represented Minorities) colleagues need to be at the forefront of this work. We insist that they receive adequate time and compensation for the work they are doing - to fail to do so is to perpetuate the "minority tax" that has been widely described in medical institutions.
We request that County administration support the following principles:
1) Anti-racism and Equity work is vital for the health and future of our institution, our staff, and our patients
2) URM members of the medical staff should be offered leading roles in this work
3) Any members of the medical staff who are asked to devote significant time and energy to this work should be compensated for their time. Michel and the Executive Board
From Angela Echiverri, regarding financing RDC activities:
The funding that our program has received overall for DEIA initiatives have gone primarily to the RDC and to our health career pathway or pipeline program initiatives including the Ladder and Health Career Pathways. In talking with Shakir and Skender, these are priorities for the coming year:
- Strategic planning initiatives: To help strengthen even further the work of the RDC: Develop Mission / Vision / Values statements, strategic planning with short and long term goals. It would be great to find a facilitator to help us as a group navigate these discussions as leadership transitions take place and as our RDC grows.
- Leadership and professional development: Investing in trainings and workshops to help bolster and equip our RDC Leaders with skills and knowledge to take the RDC to the next level. For example, Marian Younge is interested in attending the OpEd Project course ($485) as she is co-leads the RDC Communications Committee, and this is not covered by our CME funds. As such, we would like to cover this cost, and allow a pool of funds for each RDC Leader to take advantage of similar opportunities.
- Conferences: Attending conferences (SNMA, LMSA, STFM, AAFP) is helpful for both recruitment of URM applicants and for professional development for our RDC leaders. Despite conferences moving to virtual platforms, we need to cover registration costs and carry a pool of funds (if it returns to in person) for hotel, travel costs. For example, Skender is very interested in pursuing research and scholarly work as part of his career, and the cost of conferences can be burdensome particularly since our CME only covers registration (if CME credits are involved).
- Community Building: Monthly / weekly leadership and URM/POC community building meetings are taking place. We host at least 2 larger community building events in which URM/POC residents, faculty and staff attend to support each other, learn about upcoming RDC activities, and grow a vibrant community. Prior to COVID, we had been hosting dinners at each of the meetings and now most of them take place on a virtual platform. We recently hosted a community dinner in a safe manner within the guidelines of social distancing to welcome our interns and celebrate our graduate and founder, Jenn Shrestha.
- Library and Teachings: All of us are even more engaged in the critical work related to the learning and unlearning that is required to actively pursue antiracism. There are many teachings from renowned authors like Ibram X. Kendi, Patrisse Cullors, bell hooks, Michelle Alexander, Toni Morrison, Ijeoma Oluo, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, among others. It would be important to have funds that provide books to our RDC leaders to have as part of their own personal library. The CMEC led by Kaitlin HollandBerry, and a group of us (Sarah McNeil, Kaitlin, Ne, Prachi and myself) are working on having some of these books available in our library based at Martinez.
We hope this provides the information needed by PDOCC to help generate the critical level of support that gives back and invests in our RDC leaders, and help bolster and strengthen their knowledge base and skills set to further their work and their leadership as change agents.