The Duke Department of Medicine is committed to fostering an inclusive community of trainees, faculty, and staff. We treat each other and our patients with civility, showing respect for each individual regardless of differences among us.

Our Values

  • We respect the diversity of our professional and patient communities.
  • We recruit, retain, and celebrate a diverse group of trainees, faculty, and staff, and expand possibilities for those from underrepresented communities.
  • We support and protect members of racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans and military families, members of LGBTQ+ communities, immigrants and refugees, and the many others who enrich our community.


We have five main initiatives that offer DEI activities, programming, and support:

  • The Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee provides career mentoring, leadership development, and social networking for faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students from under-represented groups. The faculty leaders for this program are David Ortiz Melo, MD, and Omobonike Oloruntoba Sanders, MD
  • The Program for Women in Internal Medicine provides career development and peer mentoring programs for women students, residents, fellows, and faculty. The faculty leader for this program is Daniella Zipkin, MD.
  • Civility Champions is a cohort of Department of Medicine faculty and trainees who have been trained to offer informal support in response to incidents of bias, harassment, or other unprofessional behaviors. The faculty leader for this program is Jane Gagliardi, MD.
  • Stepping In 4 Respect is a multi-institution collaboration led by the University of Virginia called “Stepping In: Creating a Culture of Respect and Inclusion.” Trained Department of Medicine Civility Champions lead the Stepping In 4 Respect workshops. This new component of our civility efforts is designed to teach faculty and staff the skills needed to step in (be an “upstander”) in the moment, with a particular focus on race-, ethnicity- and gender-based incidents. Participation in the Stepping In 4 Respect workshops is part of an IRB-approved prospective quality improvement study to assess change in attitudes and behaviors toward discrimination and harassment in the work and learning environment. The faculty leader for Stepping In 4 Respect at Duke is John Duronville, MD.
  • The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Committee (DEIAR Committee) is working to transform the Department of Medicine into an anti-racist department where all faculty, trainees, and students thrive. Members develop concrete short-term and long-term goals, focusing on targets that are actionable and measurable. The faculty leader for this committee is Julius Wilder, MD, PhD.


In 2020, the Department of Medicine began a formal effort to evaluate our pastrespond to the moment, and reinvigorate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This means incorporating DEI values right from the start of each and every project and initiative and empowering each and every faculty, trainee, and staff member to always look for opportunities to become a more equitable department.

In addition to strengthening the programs above, here are other ways we are responding:

  • We are expanding the pool of Civility Champions and providing each champion with advanced bystander training.
  • We are offering Stepping In 4 Respect "upstander" training to all members of the Department of Medicine (faculty, trainees, staff).
  • We are developing training for departmental and division leaders to strengthen our skills in building and leading diverse groups, lessening implicit bias, and promoting equity and inclusion.
  • We established new positions on the Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee to enhance our focus on recruitment and retention of Black faculty and Latinx/Hispanic faculty. Learn more.
  • We are creating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to identify, promote, prioritize, and facilitate structural changes. It will also serve as a communication hub and clearinghouse to help us all efficiently keep track of the many DEI/anti-racism activities across Duke.
  • We will host Health Equities and Disparities in Medicine, a monthly presentation for ongoing dialogue about DEI/anti-racism topics. This presentation is part of the new Duke Medicine Duke Medicine Learning, Education, and Discussion Series.

The Department of Medicine is aligned with the efforts across the Duke University School of Medicine and Duke University Health System. Learn more about the Duke Health commitment to Moments to Movement, the School of Medicine's Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), and see learning opportunities available as foundational elements for dismantling racism and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion for leaders in the School of Medicine.

Department of Medicine Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update

In my role as vice chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), I get to facilitate and then step back and watch the many talented and committed people who work to advance our DEI goals. I’d like to recognize these individuals and their work leading our five main DEI initiatives, and also note that there are almost 200 other department members actively involved in these efforts.

Hispanic Heritage Month is an Important Time of Recognition in Medicine

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15- October 15, is an important time of recognition and acknowledgment of the contributions of Hispanics/Latinos to this country in all areas, including Medicine.  The United States Hispanic/Latino population represents the largest ethnic minority in the country, comprising 19% of the U.S. population. Yet, the contributions of Hispanics/Latinos to medicine are significant and usually go unnoticed or unrecognized.  

Faculty Development Update: Prioritizing Faculty Support

Duke Department of Medicine Faculty:

I have spent the last three months cultivating a vision for faculty development by listening to faculty  across our department. As a member of the Faculty Development Academy (FDA) in 2011, I understand the importance of initiatives that provide support for faculty to be successful.

Onboarding for New Fellows Includes Stepping In 4-Respect Workshop

The Department of Medicine’s (DOM) commitment to fostering an inclusive community of trainees, faculty and staff begins for incoming fellows during their first weeks on campus. On Monday, July 3, more than 50 fellows attended the interactive Stepping In 4-Respect workshop.

Celebrating Juneteenth with Dr. Syed, Vice Chief for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dear Department of Medicine Community: As we approach June 19, we want to take a moment to acknowledge and commemorate Juneteenth, a significant day in American history.  Juneteenth represents the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing journey towards freedom, justice, and equality.

Report from OEDI Leaders Group

The School of Medicine Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI) during its monthly EDI leaders group meeting March 25, 2023, heard about a process for helping each department, center, or institute reflect on strategic plans.