Dr. Mallory Williams, a professor of surgery at the Howard University School of Medicine, visited WSU Spokane this week, toured local high schools and met with members of the WSU Spokane faculty.
Williams’ connection to Spokane begins with Anne Ledgerwood, a mentor of his at Wayne State University. Ledgerwood graduated from Gonzaga University.
Williams began his day visiting Rogers and North Central high schools in Spokane, talking to students there and touring NC’s Institute of Science and Technology.
He talked about how he became a trauma surgeon, and encouraged students to be persistent, work towards their goals and do what they can to go to college.
Back at WSU Spokane, Williams gave a guest lecture called “Emulating Eagles: Transforming Modern Diversity Thought in Medical Education.” Williams used eagles as a metaphor because, as he said, they execute at a high level, are provocative mentors and they need superior vision.
The eagles were seen as the leadership of medical schools, and leadership needs to lead diversity initiatives.
“You gotta open some arms and somebody’s gotta go in and hug you,” Williams said in reference to diversity leadership being a two-way street.
Williams noted that a lack of diversity is one reason medical the Liaison Committee on Medical Education places schools on probation.
“We have a diversity problem in medical education and we have to face that,” he said.
Here at WSU Spokane, Yvette Roubideaux, our new associate dean for diversity, inclusion and leadership, is working to help promote diversity and inclusion with events and activities like these.
Williams ended the day with an evening reception where he was able to meet staff and faculty on campus, as well as members of the public.
As for our emerging medical school, Williams said that the Elson S. College of Medicine has a positive future because, as he said it, “Your medical school is so wonderfully named.”
Williams’ visit was in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine Exhibit entitled “Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons.”