Three Penn State College of Medicine students are seen sitting in an outdoor courtyard in fall 2019, laughing together. A laptop is open on a table in front of them.

Diversity, Equity and Belonging

Leading the Way in Diversity and Inclusion

Penn State College of Medicine addresses diversity and inclusion from a measurable, strategic perspective.

Penn State College of Medicine is a change agent and leader in Hershey and the surrounding communities, committed to educating students to provide quality medical care - including to those in underserved and historically excluded communities - and to conduct exceptional research. We are committed to increasing representation of historically excluded and underrepresented in medicine faculty, staff and students to reflect our nation’s demographics and to advance our commitment to educating our increasingly diverse students and ultimately to eliminate health disparities for our community's diverse patient populations.

Our goal is to be “best in class” in increasing the diversity of our students and workforce, advancing our commitment to a respectful and inclusive workforce, providing culturally excellent care for our patients and education to our students, and making discoveries that create a greater well-being for all populations, regardless of background.

Learn More

Please contact the Office for Diversity, Equity and Belonging with any questions or concerns.

Email Us See Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan Explore Pipeline Programs

Doing It "Rite" - Our Core Values

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is grounded in the RITE core values that are relevant to the College of Medicine:

  • Respect - A work, educational and patient-care environment based on respect provides the foundation for a meaningful exchange of information and ideas that leads to better patient and educational outcomes.
  • Integrity - doing what is right even when no one is watching - results in establishing trust and confidence, with our patients, students, and each other, that we are committed to doing what is best.
  • Teamwork, and the ability to work effectively with others who are different, results in the exchange of ideas that can result in the newest innovations, and keeping us at the leading edge of medicine, research and education.
  • Excellence in education, research, and patient care is our expectation in all that we do.

Learn more about our mission and values

Incoming students at Penn State College of Medicine were invited to sign a Catalyst for Change pledge supporting diversity and inclusion in the College community. A large sign with the text of the pledge printed at the top is visible, with the bottom half of the sign filled with student signatures in a variety of colors. The photo was taken in 2017.
Incoming students at Penn State College of Medicine were invited to sign a Catalyst for Change pledge supporting diversity and inclusion in the College community.

Anti-Racism statement from Kevin Black, Dean of the College of Medicine

Photo of a group of people wearing white coats and masks, kneeling on the grass and holding signs that say “Black Lives Matter,” “White Coats for Black Lives,” “End Police Brutality,” and “No Justice, No Peace.
Staff and students from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine knelt for nine minutes in silent reflection on systemic racism and violence against people of color during the White Coats For Black Lives event in June 2020.

Penn State College of Medicine pledges to identify and eradicate all forms of racism and bias within our institution and society via educational reform, policy advancement and community growth.

This commitment entails reinforcing and reinvigorating existing policies that confront systemic racism in our academic setting. To further this aim, we commit to developing new programs that evolve with the vision and ideals of an equitable and just future. This pledge also necessitates establishing clear, professional standards and training guidelines that hold all members of the College accountable to promoting a welcoming and anti-racist environment. In order to achieve this, we must uphold the fact that racism is a social determinant of health, disproportionately harming some more than others, and accept individual responsibility in proactively dismantling its roots in our institution. Lastly, to wholly achieve our mission, we must extend the philosophy of anti-racist practices to all other forms of bias and discrimination.

We recognize that individuals are at different stages in their journey of promoting anti-racism. However, our ultimate goal is to strive for sustainable excellence and leadership in creating an equitable, safe, and culturally-sensitive environment in which all are welcome. Our ability to address all forms of discrimination first begins with acknowledging our own identity as well as understanding how both conscious and unconscious bias contribute to systemic injustice. As a community, we stand in solidarity against racism and support anti-racist praxis as reflected throughout our curriculum, programs, policies and ultimately our legacy.

Contact Us

General questions about diversity at Penn State College of Medicine can be emailed to comdiversity@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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