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Commentary: Diversity and Inclusion in the 21st Century: Bridging the Moral and Excellence Imperatives

Nivet, Marc A. EdD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31826d6ad8

There is prolific evidence of a commitment to diversifying student and faculty populations in academic medicine, but far less evidence of its effectiveness. The social justice underpinning of this commitment is important and must continue to undergird diversity and inclusion efforts. In today’s environment of pinched resources, however, moral arguments alone will not suffice. What the diversity and inclusion movement needs for the 21st century is to apply rigorous empirical methods to understanding the most effective and efficient interventions to contribute to institutional excellence.

The collection of diversity and inclusion articles in this month’s issue of Academic Medicine is quite comprehensive and speaks to a range of audiences, from those who consider themselves experts on diversity and inclusion to the casual and interested reader. This robust collection will afford diversity practitioners, institutional leaders, and policy influencers with greater insight into what defines an effective diversity strategy.

The academic medicine community cannot derive top value from diversity efforts, however, until practitioners, deans, CEOs, and policy makers begin operating with a shared framework for success. The excellence imperative facing our medical schools and teaching hospitals calls for improved precision in decision making and resource deployment to drive sustainable outcomes, which in turn requires a strong degree of alignment among all involved parties.

Author Information

Dr. Nivetis chief diversity officer, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Nivet, 2450 N St., NW, Washington, DC 20037; e-mail:

© 2012 Association of American Medical Colleges