Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Department of Surgery expands DEI efforts and initiatives

The Department of Surgery’s DEI efforts continue to soar to new heights. Our thoughts and ideas have evolved into impactful initiatives. One of our key goals has been to embed the work of DEI into the routine day-in, day-out activities of our department, across all our missions. Our DEI Steering Committee and Subcommittees are producing transformative work that consistently enhances the culture of the department, and also allows us to build better partnerships with our community and the patients we serve.

Department of Surgery DEI Perspectives: Get to Know Members of the DEI Steering Committee

In this video, you will get a candid glimpse of what we do and who we are as a department, and see how Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a very significant aspect of Surgery’s mission. There is no one way to do (or come into) DEI work, so in this video you will get a chance to listen to the individual journeys of some of our DEI Steering Committee members.


The University of Chicago Department of Surgery is committed to addressing and eliminating discrimination in all forms within our department through continuous self-assessment, targeted programming, advocacy and creation of an increasingly diverse and culturally competent workforce by embedding diversity and inclusion as an integral component of surgical excellence. In doing so, we aim to remove barriers to healthcare access, to provide the best care for our community and to create an optimal and equitable environment to work, conduct research and train.

  • We are committed to equitable treatment and eliminating discrimination in all its forms.
  • We honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals.
  • We recognize and respect the diversity of our patients, trainees and staff.
  • We are committed to the dynamic process of confronting discrimination and racism in our department and community.
  • We believe that a more diverse workforce is essential to treating a diverse community.
  • Through efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, we can remove barriers to healthcare access and enable our department to provide the best care for our community.
Seeing is believing

The DEI Steering Committee has made great strides in transforming our work environment, including new hallway displays that tell a more complete story of our department and its relationship to our community, and celebrate the contributions of role models and leaders who overcame the stereotypes and the biases we are working to eliminate.

Our department’s website has been updated to better reflect the diversity already among our ranks and our commitment to creating a truly inclusive environment. We’ve been implementing exciting changes to our residency and fellowship curriculums to integrate DEI, while also making concerted efforts to engage with our community and advocate for societal change.

Chelsea Dorsey, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery

DEI leadership

The DEI Steering Committee is spearheaded by vascular surgeon Chelsea Dorsey, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, in her newly appointed role as Vice-Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Department of Surgery. Dr. Dorsey is increasingly recognized as a critical institutional leader. Her ideas and approaches are being emulated by other departments as the BSD develops a more comprehensive, overarching strategy for DEI. With her promotion to Vice-Chair, Dr. Dorsey’s role will also better reflect the national visibility our department is gaining for leadership in DEI during this exciting time of change across the broad field of surgery.

We were excited to have Dr. Monica B. Vela, Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs for Pritzker School of Medicine and Dr. James N. Woodruff Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Students for Pritzker School of Medicine, Vice Chair, Education for the Department of Medicine join us for an impactful discussion on Keeping Our Pledge to Health Equity and Antiracism during the unveiling of our new Alcove Display depicting the legacy of Southside surgical care!