Pritzker Receives AOA Honor for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

The Pritzker School of Medicine has received the 2023 Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA) Honor Medical Society Award for Excellence in Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Medical Education and Patient Care.

The award aims to acknowledge “medical schools (and their associated AΩA chapter) that demonstrate exemplary leadership, innovation, and engagement in fostering an inclusive culture that transforms the ideals of inclusion, diversity, and equity into successful programs that support medical student, house staff, and faculty diversity in service to the community.”

“We are incredibly honored to receive this award from AΩA and recognize it was only possible through the efforts of so many people at Pritzker,” said Vineet Arora, MD, Dean for Medical Education at Pritzker. “The shared belief in serving our community on the South Side of Chicago is a tremendous point of pride for everyone at Pritzker, and this award is a testament to many years of hard work to create a welcoming and supportive culture for everyone.”

AΩA’s review committee selected Pritzker as one of three 2023 recipients from among a national pool of applicants, along with Tulane University School of Medicine and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine. Pritzker will receive a cash prize to be used for further diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Pritzker consistently ranks among the nation’s most diverse and selective medical schools. In 2023, Pritzker announced more than 50% of incoming students would receive full tuition scholarships.  In 2023, Pritzker recruited its most diverse class with respect to both economic diversity and students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. Since 2019, students from underrepresented backgrounds have made up an average of 34 percent of Pritzker’s incoming classes. 

In addition to formal coursework in health equity, advocacy and anti-racism, Pritzker students immerse themselves in student-oriented service projects, including running six free clinics, which provide care for hundreds patients in neighborhoods across the city. Pritzker further works directly with students to foster an inclusive learning environment, from matriculation through graduation, through the Identity & Inclusion (i2i) Steering Committee, which was founded in 2015 by a committee of students, faculty, and staff.

Pritzker has also demonstrated a commitment to training the next generation of physicians through two summer pathway programs, the NIH-funded PSOMER and CAMP. Since the programs began in 2007, more than 400 undergraduates have participated, with 17 matriculating to Pritzker and others to medical schools across the country, including Baylor University, Emory University, University of Miami, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and others.