Five years ago, in a previous Academic Medicine Commentary, the author asserted that the move toward health reform and a more equitable health system required a transformation of more than how we finance, deliver, and evaluate health care. It also required a new role for diversity and inclusion as a solution to our problems, rather than continuing to see it as just another problem to be fixed. In this update, the author assesses the collective progress made by the nation's medical schools and teaching hospitals in integrating diversity into their core strategic activities, as well as highlighting areas for continued improvement. The author identifies five new trends in diversity and inclusion within academic medicine: broader definitions of diversity to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and those who have disabilities; elevated roles for diversity leaders in medical school administration; growing use of a holistic approach to evaluating medical school applicants; recognition of diversity and inclusion as a core marker of excellence; and appreciation of the significance of subpopulations within minority and underrepresented groups. More work remains to be done, but institutional initiatives to foster and prioritize diversity and inclusion coupled with national efforts by organizations such as the Association of American Medical Colleges are working to build the capacity of U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals to move diversity from a peripheral initiative to a core strategy for improving the education of medical students and, ultimately, the care delivered to all of our nation's people.
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