In Part I, Dr. Lopez wanted to familiarize listeners in this grand rounds presentation with a history of minorities in medicine and to describe current trends in diversity and inclusion in medicine in general and specifically in PM&R. He identified arguments for diversity and contrasted past, present, and future recruitment efforts at NYU. He also discussed this years’ match data results. Historically, there have been many challenges for minorities to gain a foothold in medicine. He wanted to furnish objective data about this situation. These individuals had a problem right from the beginning in obtaining admission to medical schools. He described enrollment data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and compared it to U.S. Census Bureau data. Over the last 50 years, Dr. Lopez noted how medical schools have tried to do something about increasing the proportion of students from underrepresented minority groups. Specific information entailed showing what has occurred in PM&R, involving students and faculty. Comparisons then were made with overall U.S. population trends. Reasons are provided for increasing diversity and inclusion in medicine, e.g., minority patients seek doctors who look like them and more minority physicians are likely to take care of minority patients.
Note: The recruitment practices discussed in this episode were prior to the June 29, 2023 supreme court ruling on race as a specific basis for recruitment. Current practices have changed to follow federal, state and city guidelines.
Dr. Ryan Branski is the Howard A. Rusk Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Research and the Vice Chair for Research in Rehabilitation Medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He also has appointments in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in the school of medicine and Communicative Sciences and Disorders in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Dr. Branski runs a productive research enterprise encompassing both clinical and laboratory initiatives. His NIH-funded laboratory primarily focuses on wound healing and regenerative approaches to optimized healing in the upper aerodigestive track. Dr. Branski is one of only a few investigators to be named Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and the American Laryngological Association.
In Part 1 of his presentation, Dr. Branski discussed how efforts are underway to push research over the top in productivity at NYU. It is important to consider the economic implications of research. Obtaining external support is not easy and we should celebrate those accomplishments when funding is obtained. Voice disorders are the single most common communication disorder across the lifespan. He mentioned the importance of Reinke’s space and his contributions in describing the layered structure of the vocal folds. He indicated how challenging it is to deal with the problem of vocal fold necrosis.
In Part 2 of his presentation, Dr. Branski discussed voice research, an area of investigation that not only poses the most opportunities, but also the most obstacles. He also mentioned developments in addressing tissue deficits in the airway. He closed on the theme that research needs to be opportunistic and that what is of value in this institution is to enhance communication between the thousand clinicians at NYU and the researchers.
A Q & A period followed.