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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We commit to being a continuous learning organization that recognizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competency as essential to excellence.  While affirming our common humanity, we expect our learners, staff, and faculty to be sensitive to and respectful of the inherent dignity and worth of each individual in our community.  We embrace innovation in the pursuit of a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment that values open expression and mutual respect so that all may thrive.

Community, Culture and Diversity Calendar

Diversity Highlights

As part of our commitment to building an inclusive environment that values every member, the VTCSOM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team will be hosting Riverside Chats Series for applicants who are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine. The inaugural session is scheduled for Thursday October 21 at 6pm EST and the series will continue monthly thereafter. 

This forum has been established to serve as an informal venue for applicants to ask questions about our school, what it is like living in Roanoke, and about our community.

The VTC School of Medicine has been awarded the 2021 Health Professions Heed Award from Insight into Diversity - for fourth consecutive year!

Insight Into Diversity Health Professions Highed Education Excellence in Diversity Award 2021. Top Colleges for Diversity

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • Natalia Sutherland, a fourth-year student at VTCSOM, envisions a future in medicine close to her Hispanic roots. Her mother’s side of the family is from Puerto Rico, and Sutherland speaks fluent Spanish. A pivotal moment of her young life occurred when she heard her mother, who was teaching English as a second language, explaining to Spanish-speaking students how to go to a doctor and what to say to get the care they needed. Read Natalia’s story.
  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated September 15 to October 15, provides an opportunity to recognize contributions to Latinx communities locally, regionally, and nationally. This year 6 Virginians were honored for their work at an event held at the Capitol with Senators Kaine and Warner, including our own faculty member, Elda Stanco Downey, PhD. Dr. Downey was recognized for the impact of her work including her roles teaching in the classroom and collaborating on DEI initiatives at VTCSOM.
  • Other holidays and celebrations in the month of October:
    • National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    • LGBT History Month
    • Global Diversity Awareness Month
    • 1: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 4: St. Francis Day, feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment
    • 6-14: Navaratri, Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil
    • 10: World Mental Health Day
    • 11: National Coming Out Day (US)
    • 11: Thanksgiving (Canada)
    • 11: National Indigenous Peoples Day
    • 18-19: (sundown to sundown): Eid Milad un-Nabi/Mawlid Al-Nabi (Sunni Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad)
    • 20: Sikh Holy Day (celebration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
    • 20: International Pronouns Day
    • 23: Milad un-Nabi (Shia Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad)
    • 29: Latinx Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween)
    • 31: Reformation Day (Protestant Christian religious holiday)
    • October 31-November 1 (sundown to sundown): Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.

Initiatives and resources

Personal Wellness


Destination Areas link to website


Opportunities for engagement

Beyond Boundaries link to website


Strategic Planning link to web page

Faculty & Staff

Pathways to health care careers

Beyond Boundaries link to website

Pathways for K-12

Strategic Planning link to web page

Pathways for undergraduate students 

About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

It has been said we learn the most from those with whom we have the least in common. Diversity enhances any learning experience and fosters a free exchange of ideas from different perspectives. That is why the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine embraces inclusion and diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. The school actively promotes an environment of inclusiveness and mutual respect within its doors as well as in the broader community. Its commitment to celebrating individual differences enhances its powerful, thought-provoking learning environment.

The school’s diversity policy targets three underrepresented groups:

  • African American, Hispanic, and Native American populations;
  • First-generation college students; and
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, also known as distance traveled.

Virginia Tech Principles of Community

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is a college of Virginia Tech. As such, the school adopts and practice these Virginia Tech Principles of Community as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members.