Our department strives to reflect the rich diversity of the world around us. We are proactive in creating a welcoming environment inclusive of individual views, gender identity, ethnicity, and racial background.

As part of our quadripartite mission, we are committed to the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Specifically, we aim to create and foster an environment that values and recognizes everyone’s unique attributes, and one in which all members of our department and institution feel welcomed, included, and are treated with respect. 

Below are some ways in which we are putting our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion into action.

Department Initiatives & Programs

Raising Anesthesiology Diversity & Anti-Racism (RADAR)
A partnership with the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School. RADAR will focus on attracting college and medical students to the field, providing mentorship and networking opportunities for emerging scholars, and developing resources for department leaders interested in building inclusive and anti-racist communities for learners, faculty, and staff. Launched March 2021.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force
The department has implemented a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force comprised of staff, faculty, clinical and non-clinical personnel, and trainees in the department. This task force is responsible for:

  • facilitating ongoing DEI opportunities for public discussion;
  • developing meaningful and actionable recommendations;
  • advising the department head on topics and issues surrounding DEI;
  • advancing educational programs to reflect departmental and university goals and values.

Anesthesiology Summer Research Fellowship (ASSURE) Program
The ASSURE fellowship program provides underrepresented minority college students from the St. Louis metro area an opportunity to engage in basic, clinical, and/or translational research projects. In support of the department’s goal to build a pipeline of bright and undiscovered talents, the ASSURE fellowship will welcome its first cohort of students in the summer of 2021 with the hope of being able to better attract, train, mentor, and provide long term career support for students from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in the field.

University Initiatives & Resources

University-wide programs and initiatives empower community members to drive change and foster an environment that is more equitable and welcoming to all. Explore the values, actions, and commitments of our institution and leadership below.

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the School of Medicine
This office provides leadership, expertise, and advocacy on all diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within the School of Medicine.

Diversity and Inclusion at Washington University
The website of the university’s Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity.

About diversity, equity, and inclusion at the School of Medicine
Learn more about our core values and how we are laying the foundation for a stronger, more equitable campus and community where everyone is welcomed, respected, and supported.

Habif Health and Wellness Center
Support and resources for the mental and physical well-being of all WashU students, first-year through post-graduate.

A student-run interest group at the School of Medicine dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) identity and health.

OUTmed is an organization for LGBTQIA-identified faculty, residents, fellows, and staff at Washington University School of Medicine. OUTmed is supported by the Department of Medicine, and is open to members of the entire School of Medicine, regardless of departmental affiliation.

Center for Diversity and Inclusion
The center supports and advocates for undergraduate, graduate and professional students from underrepresented and/or marginalized populations, creates collaborative partnerships with campus and community partners, and promotes dialogue and social change among all students.

Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Created as the university’s primary forum for changing climate and culture. Houses diversity and inclusion resources, including training resources, support for campus affinity groups, and annual events and recognition ceremonies.

External Resources

Additional resources will be added soon.

Department DEI News

Colorful graphic with WashU Med logo that states: We welcome all races and ethnicities; all religions; all countries of origin; all sexual orientations; all genders; all ages and abilities.
The above poster was developed in collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Various versions of this graphic (print/web/social) can be downloaded on the Medical Public Affairs website.

A message from our Chair

“Systemic racism in our institutions and racial inequality in our society are strong social determinants of poor health and inferior healthcare, and also negatively impact the ability of Black people to train in medicine, generally, and in Anesthesiology specifically. Other social and institutional prejudices, based on factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, health conditions or impairments, gender, and sexual preference, have also had major implications for health and higher educational prospects. Many of these structural inequities have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. In our Anesthesiology Department, and at Washington University School of Medicine more broadly, we are deeply committed to anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion. It is hard to challenge deeply ingrained social injustices, and discriminatory institutional cultures have profound inertia. But, today, momentum is building, and many are recognizing that in diversity, there is both strength and beauty. In our department, we strongly reject prejudice, and we embrace diversity; whoever you are and wherever you come from, you are welcome here.”

Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh, FCASA, Head of the Department of Anesthesiology

A statement from School of Medicine leadership: Speaking out against institutional racism »