Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS, presented “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Urology​” during the 41st Annual Ralph E. Hopkins Urology Seminar on February 2, 2022, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

How to cite: Kim, Fernando J. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Urology.” February 2, 2022. Accessed May 2024. https://grandroundsinurology.com/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-in-urology/

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Urology – Summary

Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Emeritus of Urology at Denver Health Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, characterizes diversity as a mosaic of differences and similarities—and dimensions—among people, including appearance, age, culture, ethnicity, race, language, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family environment, income level, and job title. Dr. Kim notes that communication is filtered through one’s cultural perspective, which includes characteristics and experiences ranging from things like age, race, learning style, military experience, and much more. All of this influences how people perceive one another. He points out that the “melting pot” theory of American society has evolved to where American culture values respect for individual groups and characteristics within society. Dr. Kim turns to equity and differentiates equity from equality, pointing out that equity speaks to fairness or justice while equality is the state of being equal. He explains that equity goes beyond fair treatment, opportunity, and access to information and resources for all, stressing the importance of intentionally and actively removing barriers, challenging discrimination and bias, and institutionalizing access and resources that address historical and contemporary social inequalities. Dr. Kim turns next to inclusion, which actively invites all to contribute and participate; it strives to create balance in the face of exclusive differential power and create a society where every person’s voice is valuable and no one person is expected to represent an entire community. He differentiates among Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), affirmative action, and diversity and inclusion. Dr. Kim cites the fact that urologists today are usually men and explains that while this may be changing, the field of urology lags behind other specialities in the share of women practitioners. He explains that workforce diversity is good for business and discrimination and poor diversity management pose an economic cost, with the average EEO complaint costing an organization approximately $250,000. Further, 25-40 percent of the workforce attrition rate and 5-20 percent of lost productivity can be attributed to poor diversity management, and employee turnover costs 75-150 percent of the replaced employee’s salary. Dr. Kim cites NASA’s implementation of a strong diversity management program after the Report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board found that organizational culture that squelched dissent, stifled differences of opinion, resisted external criticism and doubt, imposed a “party-line vision,” and prevented open communication had plagued NASA and contributed to the Columbia accident. Dr. Kim concludes by asking, “At what level do you value differences?,” differentiating among tolerance, acceptance, valuing, and the celebration of differences; he emphasizes the importance of celebrating individual differences and deeply understanding and respecting others’ viewpoints.

About The 41st Annual Ralph E. Hopkins Urology Seminar:

The Ralph E. Hopkins Urology Seminar is a multi-day meeting focused on training urologists in the latest in assessing, diagnosing, and treating urologic conditions in the clinical setting. Updates are provided on urologic cancers, stone disease, urologic reconstruction, female urology, infertility, emerging surgical techniques, and general urology. Dr. Kim presented this lecture during the 41st iteration of the meeting on February 2nd, 2022 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

For further educational activities from this conference, visit our collection page.