We have all seen it over and over. The dreaded D word. Are you diverse? Will you be diverse? Do you know anyone who is diverse? From the primary application to the secondaries, this broad topic has been emphasized to the point of losing it’s real meaning. So let’s get real while keeping it simple.
For me, diversity is whatever makes us different, what distinguishes us. Sure, we all share traits and needs as human beings, but once you get past food, clothing, shelter and maybe love, we all go our separate ways. That could mean the color of our skin, heritage, language, religion, politics, socioeconomic status, gender and even sexual orientation. Now most people claim to embrace diversity but they are often fooling themselves. The ability to be really comfortable with diversity is a rare and precious quality. If you’ve ever taken a sociology course, you know that we usually surround ourselves with people who look, talk and think like we do. Demonstrating your ability to accept and even welcome diversity into your life through your actions and experiences is a wonderful way to prove to a committee that no matter who walks into your office, you will treat that individual with respect and to the best of your ability.
For me, diversity is whatever makes us different, what distinguishes us.
Ok, now let’s flip the diversity coin. What diversity do you bring to the incoming medical school class? What unique perspectives? What unusual talents or skill sets do you possess? What sets you apart? Prove to a committee through your words and deeds that you will contribute and enrich the collective experience of your future classmates.
Don’t fear the D word. Understand it. Think about it. Become a better person as you incorporate the concept into your life and career.