A Diversity and Inclusivity Q&A

Yaron Tomer, M.D., FACP
Yaron Tomer, M.D., FACP

As a member of the Einstein family and as a person, I am committed to promoting diversity.

Einstein has long been committed to diversity, and diversity has been integral to Einstein’s founding mission. Shortly after World War II and in the midst of the McCarthy era of anti-Semitism and racism, the authors of the “Declaration of Principles” of Albert Einstein College of Medicine stated, “The medical center will be national in scope, and both faculty and students will be selected solely on the basis of scholarship and character, regardless of race, color, creed or sex.” As a member of the Einstein family and as a person, I am committed to promoting diversity by recruiting, retaining and fostering the careers of minority trainees, students and faculty.

Building on Einstein’s legacy of social justice, I believe that it is our moral imperative to strengthen and advance our institution’s efforts to be diverse and inclusive to everyone. Diversity, namely a broader representation of minorities among our faculty, trainees, and students, is a win-win situation for all. I believe that the number of minority students, trainees and faculty members should mirror the evolving population of our country, and that this can improve patient outcomes. In addition, greater diversity would help ensure a more comprehensive research agenda. Data show that diverse organizations function and perform better. According to McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity have higher financial returns compared with national industry medians. Undoubtedly, the same is true for our institution, and I believe that our research and clinical outcomes will advance and progress the more diverse we are.

Following my convictions and in order to create a more heterogeneous Department of Medicine, I have incorporated diversity as one of the key areas of focus in the Department of Medicine Strategic Plan, which is under development. A number of other activities are already ongoing in the department. Our Office of Diversity Affairs, led by Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, focuses on improving minority recruitment, retention and promotion at the house staff and faculty levels; providing a networking and supportive community to minority house staff and faculty; and enhancing mentoring opportunities for minority house staff and faculty. We are actively seeking to hire more minorities as we recruit division chiefs, other leaders in the department, faculty and house staff. As a reflection of the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, a significant contingent from our department attended the Women’s March in Washington, DC.

Yaron Tomer, M.D., FACP

Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Montefiore Health System