Diversity and Inclusion

Chair’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences has been an active partner in achieving significant gains by RWJMS with respect to diversity and inclusion.  For years, members of our faculty have dedicated professional and personal resources to address the needs of the underserved and under-resourced communities locally, regionally and internationally through research, education, clinical care and community engagement activities. We are home to the Women’s Health Institute and the Urban Global Scholars Program, initiatives designed to promote awareness of injustice and disparity within diverse communities in order to further our social justice mission.  Our residents and faculty attend the Eric B. Chandler Health Center, a Federally Qualified Heath Center (FQHC), providing high quality ambulatory women’s health care to our urban community including patients who are uninsured.

The faculty is committed to insure that constructive changes occur within the department that are both meaningful and sustainable.  In 2020 we launched initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion that include,

  • A Committee on Diversity and Inclusion that convenes its meetings monthly and reports its activities quarterly to the department chair. The committee is charged with monitoring medical students, housestaff and faculty relationships related to professional conduct within the workplace.
  • Calendared educational activities that nurture a supportive and receptive environment for conversation and dialogue that leads to culture change. This includes grand rounds and journal clubs that directly address disparity, inequities and prejudice that exist in healthcare and medical education.
  • The active pursuit of opportunities to advance initiatives for the diversification of our faculty, residents and students and supports new systems of accountability for diversity recruitment and retention.
  • The establishment of a strategic relationship with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as well as the Department of Education at RWJMS that reports our progress and documents our collective efforts at reform. 
  • Increased academic support and professional development services for under-represented minority students, residents and faculty including appropriately assigned mentorship.
  • Support of empowerment workshops that address implicit race and gender bias, as well as microaggressions. These workshops also explore strategies to mitigate bias and build a climate of respect and tolerance.
  • Continued efforts to build a respectful and safe relationship between the faculty, residents and our students including a clerkship report card designed to assess perceptions of racial or cultural inequities within our department.

These initiatives are meant to provide tangible evidence of our commitment to identify and take measurable actions against bias and prejudice within our community.  We are hopeful that our collective voices will serve to reflect the very best versions of ourselves. All of us are committed to making our environment a better place to learn, to work, and to live.  

Mark V. Sauer, MD, MS, Professor and Chair