Columbia Diversity

Julia Iyasere M.D. MBA

Attending Physician, Division of Hospital Medicine

Recruitment, Retention, and Development. The focus of the original Lindenbaum Thomson Society For Diversity in Medicine mission statement, developed over 20 years ago, remains as important now as it was then. When I joined the Columbia family in 2003 as a medical student, I was amazed by the ethnic and cultural diversity of the student body. It was this celebration of diversity and support of underrepresented minorities that encouraged me to stay to at Columbia to complete my training in Internal Medicine and eventually join the faculty as a Hospitalist. Throughout my training, I have had the privilege of wonderful LTS mentors who shaped my career, both personally and professionally: Dr. Thomson, Dr. Turner, Dr. Lantigua, Dr. Hutcherson, Dr. Hoke, and Dr. Forde, just to name a few. But the mentorship is an active process of outreach: as a medical student, I was recruited to join the residency program. After I completed my year as Chief Resident, the Department of Medicine retained me as faculty, and through continued guidance and wonderful mentorship, I developed to assume the role of Associate Program Director. The Lindenbaum-Thomson Society remains dedicated to its initial mission to create a housestaff program that reflects the immense diversity New York City and to help minority residents achieve their limitless potential.

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William Turner, MD

Attending Physician, Division of Hospital Medicine

In deciding on a residency, one of the first things that attracted me to CPMC, besides the opportunity for well-balanced, superior training, was the vast diversity of its physicians, not just in the Department of Medicine but throughout the hospital. CPMC has a rich and storied history throughout the 20th century of training physicians of color, including Dr. Charles Drew in 1940. Today Columbia University ’s College of Physicians and Surgeons can boast having the most faculty members from underrepresented minority group of any medical school in the United States, and you appreciate this feat as soon as you enter the medical center. It’s one of many reasons I enjoyed my residency here and why I stayed on as faculty. Interacting with surgeons, neurologists, and gynecologists of color, to name a few, (senior attendings no less) on a daily basis, along with my own colleagues in medicine has been a true, and relatively unique, privilege. It underscores the necessity of having a house staff and faculty that reflects the patient population that we serve, which here in Washington Heights, is predominantly Black and Latino. This rare combination has translated into an incredibly intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding experience for me.

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Evelyn C. Granieri, M.D, MPH, MSEd

Professor of Medicine ,

Division Chief of Geriatric Medicine

Senior Faculty Advisor for Women in Medicine

Although we continue to grow in absolute numbers, women in medicine still have challenges that require introspection, planning, education and action. As a grass roots movement, Women in Medicine at Columbia achieved visibility and validity in the residency program and with hospital leadership in a very short period of time, while successfully employing all of those change strategies. My multiple roles in the organization include Division Chief, Service Chief, hands-on clinician, educator and mentor and I try to leverage each of these positions to promote opportunities for advocacy for women in all venues of the healthcare system. Working together we are now positioned to more fully embrace and help women achieve fulfillment at Columbia, champion causes of note and extend our reach to our sisters both in our academic community and beyond. It is such a vital group with complementary talents, boundless energy and commitment. I am so honored to be a part of WIM@C; strong women, working for the greater good.     


Salila Kurra, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Co-Director Columbia Adrenal Center
Faculty Advisor for Women in Medicine
I feel fortunate to have been at Columbia for all of my training and career.  I have always been impressed by the camaraderie of the residents and faculty here.  In particular, I have been privileged to have wonderful mentors, many of them women, who have guided and uplifted me throughout my career.  I am also immensely grateful for the opportunity through the Women In Medicine group to interact with so many women residents whose compassion and enthusiasm are inspirational to me.  

From Our Residents

Residency at Columbia has given me the opportunity to be part of a system that welcomes diversity and quickly makes you feel at home. It has certainly been a privilege to work in a setting that fosters underserved communities and mediates exposure to treat a wide array of disease in a challenging learning environment driven towards growth as well-rounded physicians while providing high quality patient care.

- Dennis De León, MD 


  University of Puerto Rico 

National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)

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