March 24, 2022

Dr. Adetoye Urges Academic Medicine to Build Trust With Minority Learners

Her moving piece lays the foundation for that trust in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.


Headshot of Mercy Adetoye, M.D., M.S., a black woman with short black hair wearing a dark colored top

Mercy A. Adetoye, M.D., M.S., assistant professor and medical director at the Chelsea Health Center, offers advice to academic health centers on strategies for building trust with learners who are underrepresented in medicine. 

In the statement, published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, Dr. Adetoye vulnerably shared her own experience as a Black, female resident physician to illustrate the need for purposeful systems of support and steadfast policies to address the issues faced by trainees.

In the publication she notes, “ My experience is all too common in medical training. Patients show greater bias against women and underrepresented minorities. Minorities face micro- and macroaggressions that are not addressed by senior leaders and are left alone to cope. As a trainee I did not seek support because of worries that I would burden my supervisors. When academic medicine ignores these problems, it is supporting racism, sexism, and discrimination.”

Utilizing her own experience combined with additional research, she presents the steps academic health centers, that are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, must take to build trust with minority trainees. The steps include:

      • Prepare the trainee
      • Publicize core values
      • Prepare faculty and staff
      • Provide a multidimensional mentor team
      • Institutionalize polices 

Dr. Adetoye is devoted to academic medicine and noted, “I think it is important to not only share your experience but also offer solutions to help systems improve. I want to improve the residency experience for all trainees who are underrepresented in medicine.”

The full article can be found in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.