Diversity and Inclusion
The Duke University Department of Neurology recognizes that the diversity of its community – including clinicians, researchers, trainees, leadership, and staff – is a necessary part of its mission of world-class patient care, education, and research. Our department is committed to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community where all members thrive in a welcoming and engaging environment. Click on the categories below or the items on the menu to the right to learn more about these efforts.
The Duke Neurology Department's 2021 Diversity Strategic Plan summarizes our efforts for plans relating to diversity and inclusion for 2020 and maps our plans for 2021. Download a PDF of this document here.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism within the School of Medicine
Duke University and the Duke School of Medicine are committed both to improving diversity and inclusion, and to an anti-racist, equitable agenda. In June 2020, Duke University and the School of Medicine took steps to acknowledge and address systemic racism, both within their institutions and across the nation, with particular emphasis on the effects racism has on Black communities and individuals. On Tuesday, June 16, Duke University held "Living While Black," an all-day symposium bringing together distinguished Black faculty, students and staff. Speakers discussed the history of race and racism within Duke and the United States, their personal perspectives as Black individuals at Duke, and steps toward an equitable, anti-racist future. Later that day, Dean Mary Klotman, MD, addressed race and racism within the Duke University School of Medicine with "Turning a Moment into a Movement: Dismantling Racism in the Duke University School of Medicine." Klotman acknowledged the grief and anger Black individuals and communities are feeling and vowed that the School would make structural changes to become a more equitable institution. Read more about these efforts here.
The Beginnings of Diversity and Inclusion Efforts at Duke Neurology
Our department has worked diligently to improve the awareness regarding the importance of diversity while striving toward an environment of inclusivity. After assuming his role as Department Chair in 2014, Richard O’Brien, MD, PhD has conscientiously driven these efforts. In 2016, Kenyon Railey, MD, became Director of Diversity Programs and created a report detailing the current environment within the Department and outlining concrete steps to improve diversity and inclusivity in the future. Andrew Spector, MD took over this role in 2018. The following report represents some highlights of diversity and inclusion challenges and opportunities within the Duke School of Medicine (SOM) Department of Neurology.
Download the full 2018 report here.
Our Ongoing Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Neurology Department Diversity and Inclusion Committee spearheaded five departmental self-assessment reviews. With a determination to be accountable to the results of this self-assessment, the Department used these reviews to evaluate and its current D&I efforts and to identify areas to focus on in the future. Read more about these ongoing efforts here.
Inclusion and Anti-Racism Curriculum
Our Department recognizes the importance of incorporating training in diversity, inclusion, and equity into its education, not just during onboarding, but in a sustained manner, for newer and established members of our Department.
To that end, Clinical Neuroscience Grand Rounds, our main continuing education activity for faculty, trainees, and staff, includes lectures to help members of our Department learn more about their own biases, health disparities in neurology, systemic racism and its detrimental effects on health, and other related topics. Speakers include members of our Department as well as national leaders in their fields. Read more about this curricula here.
An Interview with our Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, and Empowerment
As our Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, and Empowerment, Andrew Spector, MD, is charged with building and maintaining inclusive excellence across the Duke Neurology Department. In this interview, Spector talks to us about how he hopes to improve diversity and inclusion in our missions of patient care, research, and education. He also discusses how commitment from leadership as well as individuals is necessary for long-term progress, how he’s staying connected to inclusion and anti-racism events across the country, and other topics. Read that interview here.
Black Lives Matter - A Message from Duke's Coach K
Duke Basketball's Coach K shared this message about Black Lives Matter and the difficult but urgent need to acknowledge and fight systemic racism.