The Office for Faculty is committed to promoting the success of Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Faculty (UREF). These efforts are led by Kevin Thomas, MD, Assistant Dean for Underrepresented Faculty Development and Associate Professor of Medicine/Cardiology. In his role as Assistant Dean, Dr. Thomas seeks to enhance the sense of community among Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Faculty, increase academic productivity, foster timely promotion, and grow representation in leadership positions in the Duke School of Medicine. Dr. Thomas works closely with the School’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion to foster activities that promote academic success for faculty underrepresented in academic medicine and that augment the environment for diversity and inclusion. In addition to spearheading a growing portfolio of professional development programs, Dr. Thomas is also available to meet with underrepresented racial and ethnic faculty 1:1 to discuss career development challenges and opportunities.
Programs and Initiatives
The ADVANCE-UP program aims to provide unique enrichment activities designed to focus on challenges underrepresented racial and ethnic faculty (UREF) encounter in academic medical centers. ADVANCE-UP ultimately seeks to create a network of scholars that will enhance the sense of community among underrepresented faculty, foster timely promotion, and increase representation in leadership positions.
The Office has recently convened a group of Duke Black Men in Medicine (BMIM), which in its early phases provides support, networking, and visibility for black male faculty in academic medicine and nursing. An area of focus for BMIM centers on increasing matriculation of black men into medicine and biomedical sciences. Black male matriculation into medical school remains low, with 619 black males representing 2.8% of all matriculants in 2019. Similar patterns emerge in a range of allied health and research professions. The AAMC, NASEM, and NIH have highlighted this crisis in a number of reports, pointing to a need for strengthening pipelines from K-12 through residency and postdoctoral training. The trends noted here directly impact the shortage of black men in a myriad of health and science career pathways and in academic medicine in particular. This initiative aims to develop and support the needs of black male faculty in the School of Medicine and to cultivate future healthcare and biomedical science professionals.
Getting Back to Basics is a series of quarterly meetings that brings together Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Faculty in the Basic Sciences as well as PhD's located in Clinical Science departments to foster community and peer networking.