Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce: Faculty Perspective

A Faculty Perspective Roundtable

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roundtable discussion Angela Ellison, MD, MSc, Susan Furth, MD, Joseph W. St. Geme III, MD, and Anne Reilly, MD, MPH, sit down for a roundtable discussion on recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce from a faculty perspective.

Why is recruiting a diverse workforce a strategic priority for CHOP?

Joseph W. St. Geme III, MD (JSG): We have a diverse patient population, and if we’re going to provide the best care possible, we need to ensure that our staff members are as diverse as possible, aiming to match the diversity on the patient side.

Angela Ellison, MD, MSc (AE): If you don’t have a diverse group of people, then you haven’t actually pulled the best people because excellence crosses all the divides. If you recruit the best pediatricians, it will be a diverse group.

Susan Furth, MD (SF): And I think we have to be mindful of how different voices and backgrounds contribute to fostering the best environment. Diversity is not just about what people look like, but it’s also about the diversity of experience that helps with decision-making and planning.

How will CHOP recruit and retain a talented and diverse workforce?

Anne Reilly, MD, MPH (AR): We want to create the best workplace where you can shine and do the best job for your patients. We want CHOP to be a place where everyone wants to work because they will have the best chance of taking care of patients, the best career, the best opportunities and the best people to work with.

SF: The Department of Pediatrics has been nationally ranked as the leading department of pediatrics for a number of years. In addition to cutting-edge research and excellent patient care, people are here because they love to teach and want pass on what they’ve learned to the next generation.

AE: We’ve started to create this alignment and cohesiveness among the junior faculty and offer support and mentorship so that they thrive here at CHOP. It’s a work in progress.

JSG: As a starting point, we’ve had the Multicultural Physicians’ Alliance at CHOP and the Alliance of Minority Physicians at CHOP and at Penn to serve as a foundation for our efforts.

SF: In any training environment, there’s a hierarchy, and many people are hesitant to speak up to an attending. But developing a culture in which people can raise concerns and speak openly is something we strive for. There’s willingness to have deep and engaging conversations about inclusivity rather than just paying it lip service.

AR: Absolutely. It is not enough to just have people here, they must be successful and move into leadership roles. Everyone must have the same types of opportunities in their careers and not be limited in their trajectories.

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