The University of Toronto Department of Medical Imaging recognizes and aligns with the University of Toronto, Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s vision and strategic plan for Support, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (SIDE). We incorporate these principles into our core values to promote excellence through equity, support the health and well-being of our department, and foster a sense of belonging.
The University of Toronto Department of Medical Imaging has established the on SIDE (Support, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity) Committee. The main goals of this committee are listed below:
Work and Learning Environment
- To create a healthy and supportive work environment that cultivates and aligns the principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We hope to build a culture that values diversity in thought that comes from a diverse workforce, recognizing the value of diversity for future innovation and growth for our department and empowering us to provide high-quality care for our diverse patient populations.
- Specific tasks to achieve this goal include active outreach and recruitment of under-represented groups to diversify the workforce at the faculty and trainee level, revision of hiring and promotion practices to be more inclusive and supportive of a diverse workforce as well as diverse leadership committees and decision-making panels, and evaluation of systemic bias and discrimination in our workplace in order to make our work environment and policies more equitable for those who are chronically disadvantaged.
- To create a safe and supportive learning environment for trainees. Specific tasks include a faculty education program on unconscious bias, hidden curriculum, micro and macroaggressions and insults, how to be an ally and upstander, learner mistreatment, the factors that contribute learner mistreatment and to develop and implement mitigation strategies.
- To support faculty and trainees who are in difficulty or facing personal or professional challenges. Specific tasks include creation of a Wellness Resource Hub and educating faculty and trainees on the available resources and how to access them (listed below). Links to our departmental mentorship programs will be provided.
- To support and encourage diversity, inclusion, and equity in research programs. Specific tasks include the creation of research grant programs that can provide seed funding and ongoing financial support for a faculty or trainee from an under-represented group. We plan to hold faculty development sessions on how to promote EDI in research for research faculty, fellows and trainees and how to build trust among patients from under-represented groups thereby improving recruitment and participation and wider application of research results.
Wellness and Building Resiliency
- To build a healthy, resilient and high-functioning team- oriented department that is able to endure and continue thriving despite current and future threats and challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed incredible challenges to our departments and have forced us to adapt and change our policies and practices along the way. Case workloads were initially reduced at the beginning of the pandemic, but have steadily increased since then, leading to increasing case backlogs and rates of burn out among radiologists, trainees and hospital staff. Our usual coping mechanisms of gathering to receive support among family and friends have been strained or prohibited due to public health restrictions. The short- and long-term effects on our individual and collective mental health are significant, and the wounds and scars of this pandemic are only beginning to manifest. Conventional wellness strategies of working fewer hours, taking more vacation or requesting lighter duties have not been practical or possible during this pandemic. On the contrary, radiology faculty have been asked to work more hours to mitigate staffing shortages and to volunteer to be redeployed in other departments or assist in COVID-19 vaccination clinics and assessment centres.
- Specific tasks will include workshops on building resilience in and outside of the workplace, how to strive for and achieve better work-life balance as well as promotion of self-care. Wellness resources will be made available to faculty and trainees and reminders included on the weekly departmental email bulletins. Faculty development sessions will be held on wellness strategies with supplementary recorded, online learning activity.
Dr. Elsie Nguyen BSc, MD, FRCPC (she/her)
Associate Professor, Vice-Chair on Support, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity