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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Living our Mission

Diversity is a core principle of RowanSOM 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. 

RowanSOM 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. 

RowanSOM is committed to listening to and preparing our students, staff, and faculty to act and foster an institutional climate and culture that everyone thrives. Read more about our commitment.  

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

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.


National Indigenous Peoples Day image with medical symbol and hands representing Osteopathic Medicine

RowanSOM recognizes Indigenous People’s Day and Native American History Month (November).  We use this time to commemorate the legacy of Indigenous People by learning a more truthful history, honoring and cultivating the land, reading Indigenous literature, and showing solidarity with Indigenous People.   

For additional learning, read this article about the history of Osteopathic Medicine and its relationship to the traditional practices of Indigenous Peoples

Below are articles to foster greater awareness about Indigenous People’s Day, American Indian history, and land acknowledgements.  


 I.D.E.A. Council Diversity Week - October 18-22

 Diversity Week

Join us for the 2021 Diversity Week events sponsored by I.D.E.A. Council! 



Keynote Address with Dr. Danielle Weitzer

Dr. Weitzer will be joining us to talk about mental health care in marginalized populations during the pandemic. 12:00 PM in AC-MPR Event Registration

Religion in Medicine Panel

Join us for an honest conversation about religion in medicine from both the patient and physician perspective.  6:00 PM via Webex Event Registration Webex Link


Women in Medicine Panel

Join us for a panel to find out about female physicians within different specialties and their experiences. 
6:00 PM in AC-MPR Event Registration

Diversity Fair & Quilting

Learn more about our diverse clubs while helping to design a quilt. 12:00 PM in AC-MPR.  No registration required. 


LGBTQIA+ Healthcare Panel

Join us for a panel discussing healthcare in LGBTQIA+ patient populations. 6:00 PM via Webex. Event Registration; Webex Link


Documentary Screening & Social

End the week with a screening of the documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution and social for cultural enrichment. 3:00 PM in AC-MPR.  No registration required. 

 Please visit the Diversity Week Guide for updated information. For questions or concerns, please contact IDEA Council at We look forward to seeing you there!

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. 

What We Do

Under the Division of DEI, RowanSOM offers opportunities for professional learning on a variety of topics, including implicit bias, microaggressions, and being an ally, advocate or accomplice. For more information on Division of DEI learning and events, click here. For more information on the SOM’s DEI Professional Learning, click here.

RowanSOM’s DEI work is led by the Director of DEI with support of the DEI Committee. It includes a focus on four areas – leadership, instruction, systems and culture. The DEI Strategic Action Plan is designed to strengthen the institutional climate and culture for equitable outcomes.  


Confidential Reporting

Please visit the Office of Student Equity & Compliance (OSEC) reporting page HERE 

Resources and Support

Admissions and Pathway Programs

Admissions - Medical Student JocelynRowanSOM 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 RowanSOM 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. RowanSOM 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 RowanSOM 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 RowanSOM medical students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. CREATE is part of the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP).

Student Organizations and Support

studentlife_banner_index.jpgRowanSOM 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 RowanSOM. Read more about Student Organizations.

You can also view the student event calendar HERE. 


The Black Collective at RowanSOM

The mission of The Black Collective is to improve and advance the experience of Black medical students at RowanSOM. 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.