Creating Accessible Medical School Admissions - May 24

With the changing demographics of the United States, the medical profession is challenged to produce a workforce representative of the population, including the 26% identified as having a disability. While medical student representation has increased in recent years, active recruitment efforts rarely focus on students with disabilities.

To truly practice disability inclusion, medical schools must remove the first barrier to medical education—admission. Admissions barriers are partially grounded in ableism and include long-standing, systematic, and stereotyped beliefs about disability. Improving admissions processes for students with disabilities, curating an understanding of disability as a unique and necessary contributor to a diverse and inclusive workforce, and reducing ableist belief systems are the first steps towards a more inclusive physician workforce.

This webinar includes admissions leaders from across the country who will identify many of the barriers and belief systems for admissions and share how their institutions implement more inclusive admissions practices.

Lisa Meeks, PhD
Associate Professor, Learning Health Sciences and Family Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School
Executive Director, Docs With Disabilities Initiative

Dr. Meeks is the co-creator of the social media campaign #DocsWithDisabilities, host of the Docs With Disabilities Podcast, and executive director of the DocsWithDisabilities Initiative. She is widely considered the leading expert on disability inclusion in medical education, her work has been published in leading medical journals, and featured in major news outlets. 

As PI and lead author of the AAMC Special Report: Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities, co-developer of the AAMC Disability Webinar Series and ACGME Equity Matters Disability modules, her work serves as a source of professional development across the UME to GME continuum.

Deborah Berman, MD
Interim Dean for Admissions, University of Michigan Medical School and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical Center

Dr. Deborah Berman is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center. She serves as the Interim Dean for Admissions for the Medical School as well as the Faculty Director for M-Home, the Medical School’s learning community focused on wellbeing, community, authenticity, and support for the student body. She completed her education and medical training at the University of Michigan, including her undergraduate degree, medical degree, residency, and fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine. Her busy clinical practice is focused on prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormalities; she is a member and surgeon in the fetal therapy and fetal surgery team. Prior to serving as the Dean for Admissions, Dr. Berman was a member of the Admissions Executive Committee. Once she stepped into the role of Dean for Admissions, Dr. Berman brought a strong commitment for anti-bias at every step in the Admissions process—including anti-bias training at the onset of each committee meeting, training for application screeners and interviewers. She is committed to shaping the future of medicine through admissions, recognizing the importance matriculating talented and diverse students. She is focused on representation, as patient/physician relationships and patient outcomes improve when patients identify with their providers. She is passionate about supporting medical students. Through her role as the Faculty Director for M-Home, she promotes connectedness and wellbeing in the medical student community.

Christina Grabowski, PhD
Associate Dean for Admissions and Enrollment Management and Associate Professor of Medical Education, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine

Christina Grabowski is the Associate Dean for Admissions and Enrollment Management, and Associate Professor of Medical Education, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine.  She is responsible for leading the full continuum of medical student enrollment management including recruitment, selection, scholarships and financial services, registration, and academic records.  She provides strategic leadership and voice to represent admissions and medical education on multiple UAB Heersink committees, including serving as chair of the Admissions Selection and Scholarship Committees.  At the national level, she serves in multiple roles with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) including the Advancing Holistic Principles Enrollment Management Working Group, the Promising Practices in Admissions Working Group, as a holistic admissions review workshop facilitator, as a member of the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) Advisory Committee, and as Past Chair of the Southern Group on Student Affairs (SGSA).  Dr. Grabowski holds a PhD in Education: Educational Leadership with a cognate in higher education administration from Oakland University and her research interests include access to medical education, holistic review, and diversity in the physician workforce.  She is the proud mother of three sons, now grown, and lives with her husband, Greg, in Hoover AL.

Charlene Green, PsyD
Assistant Dean of Admissions, Outreach, and Diversity at UC Davis School of Medicine

Charlene Green, PsyD serves as Assistant Dean of Admissions, Outreach, and Diversity at UC Davis School of Medicine, overseeing respective aspects of programmatic and administrative matters related to admissions and student/resident diversity. She leads the Community of Practice efforts for UC Davis’s national Center for a Diverse Healthcare Workforce, facilitating forums and ensuring that stakeholders and community partners achieve success in creating and implementing institutional action plans toward a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Dr. Green is the principal investigator (PI) for the Avenue M program, supporting mission-focused scholars on their journey from community college to medicine.

Amy Addams
Director, Student Affairs Alignment and Holistic Review, AAMC

Ms. Addams is a diversity, equity, and inclusion expert, change management professional, researcher, and author. She has robust experience in both higher education and in the not-for-profit space. Her work focuses on creating and sustaining equitable and inclusive systems, cultures, policies, and processes in the fields of medical education and community health. At the AAMC, this focus spans the medical education continuum from pre-med preparation and admissions through the transition to residency. For the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HPRC), she engaged Boston-area middle schools and community members to make lasting changes in nutrition and physical activity. Her credits as an author include, the Roadmap to Diversity: Integrating Holistic Review Practices into Medical School Admission Processes. Co-author of Best Practices for Conducting Residency Program Interviews and Holistic Review in Medical School Admissions and Selection: A Strategic, Mission-Driven Response to Shifting Societal Needs. Developmental editor for Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities and Roadmap to Excellence: Key Concepts for Evaluating the Impact of Medical School Holistic Admissions. Developmental editor, key contributor, and facilitator of the Holistic Review in Admissions and Selection workshops.

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