Diversity in GME continues to increase

100% of OHSU’s residency slots filled

In July, 263 new resident and fellow physicians will join OHSU. They are one of the most diverse trainee cohorts in recent history, based on published data.

Medical students nationwide celebrated Match Day on March 15. The School of Medicine’s more than 80 graduate medical education programs are on the “receiving end” of the match and take equal pride and excitement in getting results.

“These physicians are the workforce of tomorrow, and diversity is a core value of OHSU and essential in meeting the future health care needs of our state and nation,” said Christopher Swide, M.D., associate dean for GME, OHSU School of Medicine. “Our faculty, trainees and staff are enthusiastic champions for diversity and inclusion, and I’m proud of the progress we are making to foster a diverse group of trainees.”

A diverse workforce brings multiple experiences and perspectives, better equipping teams to catalyze discovery and improve health outcomes for patients and communities from increasingly diverse backgrounds.

Diversity results for the 2019 entering cohort of residents and fellows:

  • 14%, underrepresented minority groups* (compared to 12% in 2018)
  • 20%, rural background (consistent with 2018)
  • 35%, disadvantaged/faced adversity (compared to 43% in 2018)

The effort also supports OHSU goals to foster a more diverse faculty, and promote a culture of inclusion and respect. The school defines diversity in multiple ways:

  • People in groups underrepresented in medicine (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Black/African American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino and/or two or more of these races)
  • People from a rural background
  • People who faced disadvantages or economic adversity

Based on data in the OHSU Fact Book, this class is more diverse in race and ethnicity than the overall distribution of house officers at OHSU. For example, 5% of this year’s class are African American, compared to 3.9% of house officers in 2018-19. Also, 6% of this year’s class are Hispanic/Latino of any race, compared to 5% of house officers in 2018-19.

Second look fosters competitive, diverse candidates

Part of a GME program’s overall recruitment plan, the second look program is one way to increase diversity. The GME office and six programs this year invited competitive applicants in the main National Resident Matching Program back to campus and the city of Portland in early February.

Six out of 14, or 43%, of the applicants who attended the second look days this year are coming to OHSU.

By program:

  • 2 in anesthesiology and perioperative medicine
  • 1 in neurology
  • 1 in radiation medicine
  • 2 in surgery

Below are highlights of other impressive results to foster a diverse workforce.

  • Obstetrics and gynecology matched 3 out of 7 underrepresented minority candidates this year, including their first two African American residents in the 21st century, and a Native American woman – the third Native American in the residency program.
  • Orthopaedics and rehabilitation matched 5 residents, 4 of whom are women. This is notable in a specialty in which women represent 14% of residents overall.
  • Radiation medicine will welcome Jehan Yahya, and Kim Ohaegbulam, Ph.D., in July 2020 after they complete internships at Henry Ford Hospital and Hofstra University, respectively. Yahya was born in California to immigrant parents from Jordan and Algeria, spent most of her childhood in the Pacific Northwest and attended Lewis and Clark College before coming to OHSU for medical school. Ohaegbulam was born in Huntsville, Alabama to immigrant parents from Nigeria. He is now a student in the Albert Einstein Medical Scientist Training Program in the Bronx and will be graduating with a medical degree in addition to the Ph.D. he already has.

* All URM statistics in this article are self-reported data from applicants and trainees.

Featured image: Sam Torres Landa Fernandez, M.D., resident in surgery, with his wife Veronica. Dr. Fernandez was recruited through the second look program in 2018. (OHSU | Jordan Sleeth)

Related: Meet the Department of Neurological Surgery Class of 2026 on the OHSU Brain Institute blog.