Healthcare Equity and Quality Scholars Program

The Health Equity and Quality Scholars Program (HEQSP) is a program for residents where they learn about cultural humility and the root causes of health disparities. In addition, participants apply what they learn by completing a structured quality improvement initiative aimed at reducing health or healthcare disparities. This program has been created as part of the institution's participation in the ACGME’s Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments Initiative: Quality Improvement in Healthcare Disparities Collaborative. The purpose of this was to develop a shared learning forum that focuses on optimizing the engagement of residents and fellows in learning that enhances their ability to provide high-quality health care. The Scholars Program directly fills a gap in the resident and fellow curriculum by addressing specific competencies within the Milestones Assessment System. 

Following successful completion of the Health Equity and Quality Scholars Program (HEQSP) the following key outcomes will occur and each scholar participant will:  

  • Understand the contributing factors for disparities occurring within the health system and the impact those disparities have on patient outcomes 

  • Describe interventions that promote equity and play a role in decreasing health disparities 

  • Apply Quality Improvement (QI) concepts and tools to a real health system problem aimed at decreasing health or healthcare disparities 

  • Demonstrate QI knowledge by completing a QI project through one cycle of improvement (PDCA) 

  • Participants of the scholars program will be expected to attend a 3 hour learning session once per month (1 hour of learning session is team working time for QI project) and spend 2-5hours per month outside of the learning session meeting with your team and completing tasks for the QI project.  


Total time commitment: up to 8 hours per month(3-hour monthly didactic, 2-5 hours of pre-work and project work) 

Applications Open: May 2023 

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About Us


As a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Pursuing Excellence, Healthcare Disparities Collaborative, Michigan Medicine has developed the Healthcare Equity and Quality Scholars Program to equip house officers with the skills they need to engage in systems-based approaches to deliver equitable, safe, and high-quality care throughout their careers.   

The Healthcare Equity and Quality Scholars Program is a longitudinal healthcare disparities curriculum incorporating cultural humility, social determinants of health and quality improvement. This 10-month certificate program is designed to further develop house officers into leaders and change agents for healthcare equity.  

Goals and objectives for this program include: 

  • Our goals and objectives for the learners include: 

  • Understand and discuss, through the mechanism of cultural humility, how cultural identity affects health and healthcare.  

  • Develop leadership skills to become change agents for healthcare equity and explore ways to positively lead change and influence healthcare inequities.  

  • Define, understand, and identify healthcare disparities in the CLE. 

  • Identify how healthcare equity is foundational to quality care.  

  • Apply social determinants of health in healthcare delivery. 

  • Understand and discuss how implicit bias and structural racism/sexism are drivers of healthcare disparities. 

  • Apply Quality Improvement (QI) tools and concepts to a healthcare related case study that focuses on decreasing health disparities, using standard Michigan Medicine QI processes. 

This effort aims to strengthen the Michigan Medicine framework, and fulfill the ACGME Common Program Requirements, for engaging clinical learners in quality improvement to address health care disparities within the clinical learning environment (CLE)—shaped by the findings of the ACGME’s Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) and our aims to better identify opportunities to improve the care and outcomes for vulnerable patient populations:  

*IV.B.1. e) Interpersonal and Communication Skills 

Residents must demonstrate competence in: Common Program Requirements (Residency) ©2020 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Page 22 of 55 IV.B.1.e). (1). (a) communicating effectively with patients, families, and the public, as appropriate, across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds; (Core) 

*IV.B.1. f) Systems-based Practice 

Residents must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, including the social determinants of health, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources to provide optimal health care. 

*VI.A.1. b) Quality Improvement 

Common Program Requirements (Residency) ©2020 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Page 38 of 55 VI.A.1.b). (1). (a) Residents must receive training and experience in quality improvement processes, including an understanding of health care disparities. 

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Contact Us

Marcia A. Perry, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

Associate Chair, DEI, Department of Emergency Medicine

Director, House Officer Programs, Office of Health Equity and Inclusion

Director, Health Equity Visiting Clerkship

Andrew J. Dering, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

Medical Director of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Training, Office of Graduate Medical Education

Ali Von Au Douglas

Program Manager, Healthcare Equity and Quality Scholars Program