Honoring Excellence: Q and A with Laura Hanyok, MD

February 23, 2023

This interview is one in a series of interviews with recipients of the 2023 ACGME Awards. The awardees join an outstanding group of previous honorees whose work and contributions to graduate medical education (GME) represent the best in the field. They will be honored at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference, taking place this week in Nashville, Tennessee, from February 23-25, 2023.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland, is recognized with the 2023 Barbara Ross-Lee, DO Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. Dr. Laura Hanyok is Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education, a member of the Sponsoring Institution’s GME Office, and a member of the team whose initiative is being recognized with the award. She answered the ACGME’s questions about the initiative and the institution’s efforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.


ACGME: Tell us a little bit about your Sponsoring Institution.

Dr. Hanyok: The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was founded over 125 years ago and is known for its commitment to clinical and academic excellence. We educate and train more than 1,200 residents and clinical fellows in more than 100 ACGME-accredited programs. We are based in Baltimore – most of our learners spend a majority of their time at Johns Hopkins Hospital; we also have learners at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and other Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals, ambulatory practices, and surgical centers.

ACGME: Why is your institution so dedicated to the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion? 

Hanyok: A diverse, equitable, and inclusive clinical community is essential to provide the best world-class care that our patients deserve. We also need and want to train a diverse group of physician leaders who will continue to advance clinical care, research, and education to continue to push the boundaries of medicine.

ACGME: What work/initiative are you specifically being recognized for?

We have established a multimodal approach to recruit and retain diverse individuals at Johns Hopkins. This includes, but is not limited to, an annual "One Day Medical School" for area high school students from groups underrepresented in medicine (UIM); establishment of our House Staff Diversity Council (HSDC) to support and create community for our current residents and fellows; a Virtual Visiting Elective in Equitable Healthcare that was made available without charge to 67 fourth-year medical students nationwide in 2020 and 2021; and The Robert Meyerhoff Professorships, which provide early career development grants of $50,000/year for two years to UIM junior faculty members.

ACGME: Please explain what that work/initiative looks like.

There are several parts to our work – here I would highlight the work of our Graduate Medical Education Committee and our HDSC. Five years ago, the Johns Hopkins Graduate Medical Education Council (GMEC) identified Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our workforce as our Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) project. In doing so, we began by adding diversity, equity, and inclusion to our core mission as a GMEC and have undertaken a multipronged approach to (1) increase recruitment and retention of a diverse GME community of residents, clinical fellows, and program directors; (2) create and support our current learners by establishing and supporting our resident-led HSDC; and (3) support antiracism efforts at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Our HSDC was created in 2017-2018 and receives financial and mentorship support from our institution and the [designated institutional official] DIO. The council holds monthly meetings and sends out a monthly newsletter to all of our UIM residents and fellows. Together with the GME Office, the HSDC sponsors social events and community engagement activities, works to foster an inclusive culture, and provides mentorship and sponsorship to our UIM learners. The HSDC chair, who is a resident, is a voting member of GMEC. The council also holds mentoring, outreach, and social events for UIM trainees, students, and faculty members to connect the UIM community along the various professional stages of medicine. Recently, we published an article in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33680298/), which described our work establishing the HSDC and how it has been successful in building community for UIM learners. The annual “Johns Hopkins One Day Medical School” for local high school students (the vast majority of whom are from underrepresented groups and all of whom are from Baltimore city public schools) and many of their parents, [allows them to] hear personal stories and receive advice from panels of UIM residents and faculty members about the path to becoming a physician.

ACGME: How has this work/initiative helped make your institution more diverse and/or inclusive?

Hanyok: An important measure is the percentage of residents matched into our programs who come from UIM backgrounds. Over the last three years we have seen a significant increase; in 2019-2020 14.1 percent of matched interns were UIM, in 2020-2022, just over 16 percent of matched interns were UIM.

ACGME: How could others use your work/initiative as a model to become more diverse and inclusive? And what advice would you give to GME leaders who are looking to do just that, but aren’t sure how to start? 

Hanyok: Our approach within is highly suitable to adapt in other Sponsoring Institutions. We particularly recommend the CQI approach to promoting diversity and inclusion within the GMEC, and the creation of and support of a learner-led House Staff Diversity Council. This builds diversity and inclusion into the permanent fabric of the GMEC and GME programs, creating a process that embeds the same goal across programs and the institution, while ensuring that the specific initiatives to achieve the goal are tailored to the individual program and institution. Our Virtual Visiting Elective, Virtual Recruitment Event, and Allyship training are also very suitable for use in other institutions. The Share Tools free, humanities-based, anti-racism curriculum is currently available online for other institutions to use (https://www.sharetools.org/).

We believe it is essential to involve interested learners in creating and establishing whatever model you use, and being open to ongoing continuous improvement as your work grows.


Learn more about the ACGME’s Barbara Ross-Lee, DO Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award and nominate a deserving Sponsoring Institution, program, or organization for the 2024 Award – nominations are due by March 15, 2023.