In the summer of 2020, the University of Michigan’s Health Science Council of Deans (HSC) and Center for Interprofessional Education (C-IPE) were united by a desire to collectively address health inequities in society. The HSC charged the C-IPE to bring together dean-appointed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leads from 9 of our 10 health science schools, as well as students, patients, and DEI experts to lead the first stage of this effort. The goal was to gain an understanding of the current state of anti-racism and IPE intersections, individual school/college efforts on DEI and anti-racism, and policies and practices that contribute to education inequities.
This year-long effort resulted in 7 recommendations, all grounded in the agreement that approaches in this area must become more connected and collaborative between health science schools to gain efficiency and maximize impact on patient and population health. Additionally, the group reinforced the expert view that teaching anti-racism is not about a single course, but about teaching the entire curriculum through a structural competency lens to promote changes in mindset, culture, and view on the current state. The group agreed that this would require deliberate leadership, faculty development, and modifications of usual policies and practices (which will influence a change on both uniprofessional and interprofessional education).
We will discuss the opportunities that brought the HSC and C-IPE together to launch this effort, the facilitators of our process, the findings, and the next steps. In much the same manner of attempting to transform the future of health care to be collaborative by preparing our learners to be team-oriented and team-ready, we believe that we can improve health inequities and structural racism in health by collectively educating our learners in more equitable learning environments and providing them with the knowledge and skills to take action against injustice.