Pritzker News

Dr. Monica Vela Named Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs

Monica Vela, MD'93

June 8, 2011Dr. Monica Vela, Associate Professor of Medicine, will assume the role of Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine effective July 1, 2011. Dr. Vela is a 1993 graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and also completed her residency education in internal medicine at the University of Chicago. Since joining our faculty in the Department of Medicine in 1997, Dr. Vela has established herself as a leader in scholarship and education related to health care disparities and diversity in medicine. In 2006, Dr. Vela piloted and implemented an innovative new curriculum in health care disparities which has become an important feature of the curriculum at the Pritzker School of Medicine. This work has been presented nationally and published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and has gained broad attention as it is one of the few required courses on health care disparities among American medical schools. Dr. Vela serves as Chair of the national Society of General Internal Medicine’s Disparities Education Task Force. Within our school, Dr. Vela plays an active role in the recruitment and support of students underrepresented in medicine. She is also meaningfully engaged in a similar role as the Vice Chair for Diversity in the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Vela has served in this capacity as the interim dean since January 2011 and was enthusiastically and strongly recommended for the permanent position by students, residents, and faculty. In a recent interview published in our student newsletter, The Pritzker Pulse, Dr. Vela described her vision for her work with students as follows, " The evidence that diversity enhances the education of all students is plentiful. I believe that the role of the Office of Multicultural Affairs is to help all students at Pritzker recognize the unique set of attributes that makes them diverse individuals, and to provide a platform and an environment where students can teach each other about their experiences and to reflect on how these attributes and experiences can enhance the care of their patients."

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Monica Vela and in welcoming her as our Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs in the Pritzker School of Medicine.

For more information, please visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs website.