Changes Were Urgent, says Missouri Med School Dean - Diverse Health

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Changes Were Urgent, says Missouri Med School Dean

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by The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The dean of the University of Missouri’s medical school said a recent change in leadership was motivated by a sense of urgency prompted by the school’s accreditation report.

Dean Patrice Delafontaine spoke to medical students on November 2 about the changes, including the resignation of Rachel Brown in October as the medical school’s associate dean for student programs and professional development. She remains a professor in the psychiatry department, according to the Columbia Missourian.

That came on the heels of a June report, which highlighted problems with student mistreatment and diversity. The school was given two years to improve in those areas to keep its full accreditation.

Assistant professor of clinical psychiatry Laine Young-Walker replaced Brown this week. According to Young-Walker, she has already started scheduling meetings with students who have reached out to her.

Delafontaine said at the meeting that he believed the risk of losing accreditation was very low, but the issue of mistreatment is unacceptable.

In an earlier meeting with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, representatives gave feedback on the action plan draft, which the school will revise and be expected to submit by Dec. 1.

The medical school has a history of diversity-related issues, with only 5 percent of students enrolled in 2015 being underrepresented ethnic minorities. In the report, 43 percent of MU School of Medicine students said they had experienced public humiliation at least one time. The national average of that same statistic is 19 percent. Students have also reported gender discrimination issues and sexist remarks.

While Delafontaine could not explain the above-average numbers, he encouraged students to continue telling faculty when they experience mistreatment, promising there would be no repercussions.

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