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Residency Programs Move Toward Greater Diversity

Graphic of diverse group of healthcare workers

Advancing the boundaries of medicine is not a singular, specific event; rather, it unfolds over time. So, too, efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Cedars-Sinai: We are making important strides even as we recognize that there is work yet to be done.

This year, Cedars-Sinai interviewed the most diverse group of residency candidates ever, and we have innovated with the launch of new initiatives like the DEI Ambassadors program, which engages residents from underrepresented groups through mentorship, outreach and education.

"Our institution is committed to recruiting a more diverse class of residents and also to making sure those residents feel a sense of belonging once they get here,” says Mark Noah, MD, associate dean of Medical Education in Academic Affairs and the Melvin Brody, MD, Chair in Medical Education. “Right now, approximately 14% of students who match in our residency programs come from communities that are historically underrepresented in the field of medicine. We’re focused on pushing that number forward every year."

Michie Adjei, MD
Michie Adjei, MD

General Surgery Resident
Hometown: Vereeniging, South Africa

I chose Cedars-Sinai because it’s an amazing, world-renowned hospital and because L.A. is a great, diverse place to live. My program has been extremely supportive of its minority participants. I’ve been connected with several surgeons of color who have become my mentors. As a DEI ambassador, I’ve had opportunities to help boost recruitment of historically underrepresented minorities in the Department of Surgery and to engage with diverse middle and high school students, introducing them to career paths in medicine they might not think are open to them.

Nicole Mitchell, MBA
Nicole Mitchell, MBA

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Our residents are the future of medicine, and in one of the most diverse cities in the world, we believe that future should reflect what our patients look like. We want patients to feel seen at Cedars-Sinai, no matter their background. When your doctor walks into the exam room and looks like you or speaks your language, it may encourage you to open up about your health-related concerns. That’s at the heart of our efforts around DEI: removing barriers and meeting patients where they are.

Stephen Avila, MD
Stephen Avila, MD

Neurology Resident
Hometown: Modesto, California

I am a first-generation physician from a Mexican American family. From my standpoint as a resident of color and DEI ambassador, this is one of the rare places I have worked where I don’t feel like a minority. Cedars-Sinai’s commitment to diversity is very evident in our resident, attending and administrative population. The patients we serve deserve to be understood and cared for with excellence, and I believe our emphasis on DEI throughout the years is something that has allowed us to reach these goals.