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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Living our Mission

Diversity is a core principle of Rowan-Virtua SOM and Rowan University. Our mission to prepare culturally-proficient physicians and researchers who are focused on holistic wellness cannot be realized without intentional, thoughtful introspection and action regarding anti-Black racism, implicit bias, xenophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia to enhance our practice.  The recurrent, senseless deaths of people of color, as well as racial and socioeconomic health disparities as evidenced with the COVID-19 pandemic, reveal why equitable conditions matter in medicine. Our production of racially and linguistically diverse and socially-just physicians and medical researchers are critical to meet these needs and serve the State of New Jersey. 

Rowan-Virtua SOM is devoted to our students and state by improving diversity, equity and inclusion - from programs supporting underrepresented, minoritized high school STEM students, to innovative programs in GSBS, to our holistic admissions process, to instruction that prepares future physicians and researchers for culturally-responsive service to eradicate health disparities and racism in medicine. 

Rowan-Virtua SOM is committed to listening to and preparing our students, staff, and faculty to act and foster an institutional climate and culture that everyone thrives. 

Rowan University’s non-discrimination policy ensures people’s rights in education and employment are protected and enforced. Resources are available for reporting issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct.

We are proud of, and grateful to, our students for their leadership in propelling our institution forward.  Read more about The Black Collective and our Student Organizations here. 

Together, we commit to the important work ahead to heal our school and community.

Yvonne Ortiz
Inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

SOM and GSBS DEI Newsletter

  • special message
    Read Dean Jermyn's special message in response to recent Supreme Court decisions regarding affirmative action and the LGBTQ+ community.

Land Acknowledgement

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

We acknowledge the land on which we occupy today as the traditional home of the Lenape tribal nation, also known as the Delaware People. They are Indigenous People of the Northeastern Woodlands, who live in Canada and the United States.

Read more about Rowan University's Land Acknowledgement.

Diversity Focus

As a community of caring osteopathic physicians and future scientists, we are always learning and gaining new perspectives. Below are some of our current topics of interest, as well as helpful resources and related events. 

 Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

Rowan-Virtua SOM was honored to have Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee provide this dynamic presentation for our faculty, staff and students.  

  Josiah Foundation Podcast

This new podcast from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation features Macy Foundation President, Holly J. Humphrey who will be joined by guest experts to discuss issues related to bias and discrimination in clinical learning environments.


Nation’s Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Unanimously Commit to Addressing Systemic Inequity

This consensus statement, published in October of 2021, is the direct result of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)’s Racism and Injustice in Healthcare Education Adaptive Workgroup.  Please click the link above to read this statement in its entirety and learn more about AACOM's commitment to addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Office of Student Equity and Compliance

Resources and Support

Statements from the Dean

Admissions and Pathway Programs

Admissions - Medical Student JocelynRowan-Virtua SOM has lead the way amongst medical schools in the nation in recruiting and enrolling a diverse student population. Essential to this success is our holistic review process. Our Admissions Committee continually approaches student enrollment from a focus of inclusion and diversity. 

Read more about our Admissions process



Cultural competency and advocacy is embedded into the Rowan-Virtua SOM mission to:

Develop clinically skillful, compassionate and culturally competent physicians from diverse backgrounds who are grounded in our osteopathic philosophy and ready to meet future healthcare workforce needs”

To meet that mission, the Tensegrity Curriculum has several components of the curriculum dedicated to training students to be culturally humble and promoting patient advocacy. Rowan-Virtua SOM is committed to educating future physicians in the biopsychosocial model of health care, how to promote health and how to overcome health care disparities. 

Financial Aid and Scholarships

gradimage1.jpgThe Stratford Campus Student Financial Aid Office is committed to providing a substantial financial aid program, including loans, grants and scholarship. Our goal is to ease the student debt burden so that financial issues do not preclude matriculation to any accepted students. Race, ethnicity and gender are not considered in making financial aid decisions; however, we are committed to garnering additional funds through federal and state programs for disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students.  




We believe it is essential for institutions to invest in the future of research and medicine, a goal we achieve through two outreach programs. 

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program recruits undergraduate students considering graduate education in the biomedical sciences. 

The Summer Medical Research Fellowship (SMRF) is open to Rowan-Virtua SOM medical students who have been accepted to participate in an eight week research project with a faculty mentor.

The Clinical Research, Education, & Training Experiences (CREATE) is a six-week, stipend-supported summer research program open to 25 Rowan-Virtua SOM medical students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. CREATE is part of the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP).

Student Organizations and Support

med students covered in colorsRowan-Virtua SOM has many student organizations that support unique and innovative programming that serves the needs of diverse students. 

Student organizations including the I.D.E.A. Council, SNMA, LASOH, LMSA work tirelessly to improve the community of Rowan-Virtua SOM. Read more about Student Organizations.

You can also view the student event calendar HERE. 


The Black Collective at Rowan-Virtua SOM

The mission of The Black Collective is to improve and advance the experience of Black medical students at Rowan-Virtua SOM. We strive to eliminate the barriers that arise in medical education through fostering an environment of academic excellence, empowerment and advocacy through mentorship and support.