Equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives at Canadian universities

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University of Toronto seeks to recruit more black medical students

The University of Toronto believes its medical students should reflect the diversity of the city’s population.

To meet this vision, the university announced the Community of Support initiative in March 2017. Its aim is to increase the persistently low number of black students who apply to medical school and continue on to become doctors. Beginning this year, students applying to the university’s medical school for September 2018 will have the opportunity to disclose their racial background on their applications for recruitment officers’ consideration. This option was first offered to Indigenous students four years ago to increase diversity in the university’s medical school and better reflect Canada’s society. Since it was implemented, the University of Toronto has experienced increasingly positive results and higher numbers of applications each year.

Students applying must meet the same rigourous educational standards when it comes to grades, course requirements and MCAT admission scores to be accepted into the program, but this initiative works to alleviate some of the barriers that exist for black students when applying for and attending university.

Community of Support is only one of many upcoming efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusion on the University of Toronto’s medical school campus. Other strategies include outreach to black high school and undergraduate students, mentorship programs and an overall shift in curriculum, which will include a focus on factors affecting black health and treatment.

Online information

Community of support, 2017

October 2, 2018
Universities Canada