Drs. Kelil and Raghu Assume Leadership of Faculty DEI Committee

Headshot composite of Tatiana Kelil, MD (left) and Preethi Raghu, MD (right), named as co-chairs of the UCSF Radiology DEI committee

We are pleased to announce that Tatiana Kelil, MD, and Preethi Raghu, MD are the new co-chairs of the faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Dr. Raghu is based at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where she specializes in abdominal imaging and ultrasound. Dr. Kelil works primarily at the UCSF Breast Care Center and specializes in breast imaging. Dr. Kelil said that "shared committee leadership, from within UCSF and the county hospital, is an opportunity to bring together a synergy of energy and perspectives."

The new co-chairs step into their positions at a crucial time for women in medicine. While everyone has felt the burdens of the pandemic years, women have been disproportionately affected. Lockdowns and school closures led to sharply increased responsibilities in childcare and education falling heavily on women. Reports show that academic productivity among women was significantly lower during this period. The incoming chairs want to make sure such women are not left behind, and to provide support for progression up the academic ladder. Drs. Kelil and Raghu noted their interest in emphasizing the contributions of women radiologists and radiologists from less represented backgrounds.

Dr. Kelil noted that, "As a subspeciality, radiology has room for improvement. Out of 20 subspecialties, radiology was ranked about 17th in membership among women and 20th in underrepresented minorities." Though the department here at UCSF is ahead of the pack and getting better in measures such as percentage of women residents, there are opportunities for improvement and both chairs look forward to working with our faculty to continue our department's DEI leadership.

Dr. Raghu said, "It is our goal to make radiology a more accessible and equitable field to enter and practice in. I remember the apprehension I felt joining a field with such a low percentage of female faculty, especially as someone with no family background in medicine and who was an immigrant myself. I am very grateful for the crucial support I received from mentors with DEI backgrounds and I now plan to use the DEI committee to ensure more people can follow my path."

Dr Kelil has also focused her attention on the UCSF Health Equity Council's goal of expanding healthcare access and providing all patients the same kind of treatment across the wide range of facilities. She said, "To ensure there is not any inequity to access or patient experience between health campuses or ethnicities, our organizations need to be proactive instead of reactive. Diverse representation is crucial to correcting the disparities in health outcomes and mortality rates we can see in our own backyard. Across medicine as a whole, Black women and Latina women accounted each for only 2 percent of professionals and the effects of that are something I will deal during my time as DEI chair."

As for what's ahead for the DEI committee, the new co-chairs will continue the existing initiatives such as the department's Research Initiative to promote Diversity in Radiology (RIDR) and the Radiology Elective to promote Diversity in Radiology (REDR), a program designed to encourage medical students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds in radiology to apply to the two-week fourth year clinical elective offered through the School of Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Raghu identifies RIDR as a "key way to reach out to high school, college, and medical students and promote diversity. It is something we will focus on continuing and improving."

But even in these first early days they also want to expand. Dr. Kelil said, "The RIDR program is very successful, but is by its nature limited to students who already have an interest in research and have eight weeks to dedicate. Another program, perhaps shorter and more focused on clinical exposure to radiology could possibly promote the specialty where students might not otherwise have the time to consider it. A round of shadowing or preceptorship to see what radiology is like could spark a career aspiration in high school students who otherwise might not even be fully aware of radiology as a profession."

While the department has effectively managed the necessities of pandemic distance, even the most effective online spaces are not quite the same. Many global health outreach efforts are still happening, as everything was converted to an online webinar, community and social health meetings are held on Zoom, and shadowing in person has already resumed. Looking ahead, Dr. Kelil confirmed that the DEI committee is planning on holding events in outdoor spaces to be present physically and socially as much as is feasible and reasonable.

As they step into the position of co-chairs, Dr. Kelil and Dr. Raghu extend their thanks to Matthew Bucknor, MD, the outgoing chair, for his inspired leadership. As Dr. Raghu said, "Dr. Bucknor built the RIDR summer internship program from the ground up to promote an interest in research and radiology in highschoolers, undergraduates, and medical students. It is one of the most successful DEI programs in the department. It even held strong through the complete conversion into an online experience."

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kelil and Dr. Raghu on their new roles.

The full faculty DEI committee consists of:

  • Matt Bucknor, MD
  • Christine Glastonbury, MBBS
  • Jemianne Bautista, MD
  • Roxanna Juarez, MD
  • Kimberly Kallianos, MD
  • Tatiana Kelil, MD (Chair)
  • Vishal Kumar, MD
  •  Gina Landinez, MD
  • Sharmila Mjumdar, PhD
  • Kevin McGill, MD, MPH
  • Melanie Morrison, PhD
  • Preethi Raghu, MD (Chair)
  • Javier Villanueva-Meyer, MD
  • Susan Wall, MD
  • Emma Webb, MD
  • Mark Wilson, MD
  • Samira Zebarjadian

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