The Duke Department of Neurology recognizes that an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community – including its clinicians, researchers, trainees, leadership, and staff – is a necessary part of its mission of world-class patient care, education, and research.

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 2022-2023 Diversity Strategic Plan summarizes our efforts for plans relating to diversity and inclusion for 2022 and maps our plans for 2023. Download a copy of that plan here.


Duke University and the Duke School of Medicine are committed both to improving diversity and inclusion, and to an anti-racist, equitable agenda. Read more about these efforts here.

The underlying approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Neurology is to correct systemic and historic impediments to these values. We believe that making institutional changes will be more effective and persistent than attempting to change individuals’ beliefs or behaviors but should still benefit all members of the Department.

Our approach to institutional change has two other advantages. First, it places the burden of making systemic change on the entire department (or D&I committee) rather than the disadvantaged group. Women in neurology, for example, have historically had a difficult time finding mentors. Assigning mentors to all junior faculty by default (a systems rather than personal approach) is a more effective and less burdensome approach for female faculty than telling female faculty that they can improve their chances at promotion by identifying more mentors (an approach that has been advocated in the past). Assigning mentors to all faculty might differentially help women who historically have had a more difficult time finding mentorship, but the policy helps both women and men in need of mentorship. Likewise, our D&I educational programming is predominantly held in department-wide venues rather than targeted just to residents or to teaching faculty because all members of our department should benefit from these experiences. Read more about these ongoing efforts here.

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.


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.