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The University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine

Medical School

Mailing Address
1720 2nd Ave. S
Birmingham, Alabama 35294
(205) 934-2433
Email address
School Information
"The Heersink School of Medicine is dedicated to excellence in the education of physicians and scientists in all of the disciplines of medicine and biomedical investigation for careers in practice, teaching, and research. Central to this educational mission are the provision of outstanding medical care and services and the enhancement of new knowledge through clinical and basic biomedical research. We embrace the University of Alabama at Birmingham's commitment to creating an inclusive environment that values differing perspectives and experiences. This diversity is essential to fulfilling the enduring mission of our medical school" (Source: Heersink was founded in 1859. The school has over 1,600 faculty and nearly 800 students.
General Information
The SOM has delivered several statements in solidarity with DEI, systemic racism, and racial justice. Faculty are recruited according to the INtentional and INclusive Faculty Recruitment Process for diversity. Meanwhile, Racial Justice Priorities were developed. At this time, it seems that training is not explicitly required but rather integrated throughout the school's priorities. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Heersink School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion created The Common Thread, which is a collection of modules and videos.
  • The Heersink School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion has a collection of training options for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The school takes part in the “INtentional and INclusive Faculty Recruitment Process that aims to recruit a diverse pool of applicants.”
Program and Research Funding
  • The Comprehensive Urban Underserved and Rural Experience (CU2RE) program at Heersink School of Medicine is “designed to enhance the recruitment, training, and retention of medical students dedicated to serving as family medicine physicians to provide primary care in the medically underserved urban and rural areas of Alabama.” The program is funded with an initial $7 million grant by the Health Resources and Services Administrations of the US Department of Health and Human Services and has now expanded in its second year with $5.2 million in additional supplemental funding.
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion developed Racial Justice Priorities for the school to address microaggressions, bias, and racism while enhancing the recruitment, development, and retention of underrepresented students and staff.
  • The Heersink SOM offers additional educational resources on diversity, equity, and inclusion including Ibram X. Kendi’s teachings and book “How to Be and Anti-Racist,”, UAB ODEI course offerings, and participation in the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge to “further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity.”
  • As part of the Heersink School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s Black History Month series, the “Department of Family and Community Medicine program is helping students to understand the history of racism in medicine.”
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Heersink School of Medicine created its own Diversity Dashboard.
Symbolic Actions
  • The Heersink SOM has an Anti-Racism Statement opposing systemic racism to promote equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
  • The Heersink SOM has a Racial Justice Statement addressing stereotyping, bias, discrimination, prejudice, and microaggressions.
  • On June 1, 2020, the Dean of the school issued a statement on the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery about “confronting racism - the country’s systemic, pre-existing condition.”
  • The school’s department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion “strives to sustain a culture that is both diversified and inclusive,” acknowledge the existence of racism, and “commit to proactively working to root out inequalities.”
  • The Heersink School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion created the BLack/African American Faculty Association and the Hispanic/Latinx Faculty Association in order to “enhance multicultural awareness, diversity, and inclusion in healthcare.” The faculty association meetings currently, as of 2023, exclude members that do not identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latinx.
  • On February 7, 2023, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion within the Heersink School of Medicine held the Diversity Grand Rounds where a keynote speaker “emphasized the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive environment for students, trainees, faculty, and staff.”
  • The school gives Professional Excellence Awards which are “judged by the Heersink [Office for Diversity and Inclusion] Advisory Council.”
Last updated December 6th, 2023
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