ACGME Paving the Path to Medicine: Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Orlando

April 16, 2024

In conjunction with the 2024 ACGME Annual Educational Conference, held last month in Orlando, Florida, the ACGME, in partnership with the Orlando Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System and the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Medicine, hosted a unique, community-centered event that was led by members of the ACGME’s Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The event, ACGME Paving the Path to Medicine: Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, enabled conference attendees who volunteered to gain first-hand experience participating in a pathway program they can replicate at their own institutions for a lasting impact on diversifying the physician workforce. In lieu of participating in a Full-Day Course on Thursday, March 7, the first day of #ACGME2024, conference attendees inspired local college students by sharing about their work in medicine and participating with them in simulation activities.

“The event was a beautiful way to live our values by supporting young aspiring physicians, said Pilar Ortega, MD, MGM, ACGME vice president, DEI. “For many faculty participants like myself, it was an opportunity to remember and share our stories of meaning in medicine.”

At its core, the event was designed to reach college students from backgrounds and communities underrepresented in medicine, and to provide them with invaluable insights into the world of medicine that would inspire them to consider a career in the field.

“The [event] helped me open my eyes and realize many essential things as a student and human being… [while] at the same time, [it] has inspired me as a Latina to continue fighting for my dream of becoming a physician,” said Ornella Vintimilla, a student at UCF.

Throughout the day, students had the chance to explore various facets of medical careers, from interacting with medical education faculty members to participating in simulation activities that provided a glimpse into the daily life of a health care professional. Offering immersive experiences enabled the event’s facilitators to meet the double goal of sparking in participants the interest in medicine while providing tangible support and guidance to those who may otherwise face barriers in pursuing their dreams.

“I felt personally uplifted by the dreams and visions that these pre-medical and medical students shared with us,” remarked David E. Hayes-Bautista, PhD, distinguished professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles and member of the ACGME DEI Advisory Committee. “This ACGME pathway program ensures that our future [physician workforce] will continue to reflect the increasing diversity of our American population.”

In total:

  • 78 college students attended the event
  • 75 volunteers contributed, including:
    • 22 UCF medical students
    • 23 Orlando VA staff members
    • 30 ACGME staff members and Annual Educational Conference attendees (program directors, faculty members, designated institutional officials)

What’s Next?
The ACGME Paving the Path to Medicine is not a one-and-done event. Rather, it represents a firm and sustained commitment to ensuring that the pathway to medical education is safe and welcoming for future physicians who are motivated to learn and provide high-quality care to all patients. Information about future events or opportunities will be shared as plans are made. Watch the ACGME Blog, e-Communication, and social media accounts for updates.

We have created tips for faculty members, leaders, and staff members interested in designing a pathway event at their own institution or in their local community. Email to receive a copy of this resource.

You can also email to join the ACGME Department of DEI Interest list, get more information about the ACGME’s broad efforts in DEI, and learn about initiatives and opportunities to get involved.