Congratulations to Patricia Lebensohn, MD, professor, for receiving the Individual Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award from the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, for her decades of pioneering efforts in teaching and advocacy to decrease health disparities and improve culturally appropriate health care.
As a residency educator, Dr. Lebensohn developed a longitudinal behavioral health program for the family medicine residency to address cross cultural communication. In 1994, she participated in an antiracism workshop with Dr. Victoria Murrain, later teaching workshops for students and residents during orientation.
An award-winning educator, Dr. Lebensohn developed a longitudinal curriculum in health disparities (HD) for COM –Tucson students, starting at orientation with an experience of community engagement day. Longitudinal HD sessions occur in pre-clerkship and clerkship phases and include: medical ethics sessions using diverse case scenarios, a robust curriculum in care of LGBTQ populations, cultural aspects at the end of life, how to address implicit bias, prevention of micro-aggressions, and reflective writing on cross cultural communication and health disparities during clerkships.
As Medical Director of the Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) clinic, Dr. Lebensohn has been a champion in directing and mentoring students to provide quality health care to underserved populations. During her tenure as CUP medical director, she helped develop two new CUP clinics: the Integrative Clinic, and the LGBTQ+ clinic. She also supports the Mind, Shubitz, Women’s, and Tot shots clinics. In addition, she has been a critical physician-leader in expanding the services and training provided by the Asylum clinic. Through affiliation with Physicians for Human Rights, Dr. Lebensohn has mentored students to lead trainings in asylum evaluations. For the past 3 years, she has done dozens of evaluations for migrants seeking asylum, including monthly visits to detention centers in Arizona. During the COVID-19 pandemic she collaborated with the Florence Project to help release over 20 asylum-seeking detainees that were at increased risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
Dr. Lebensohn has served on the DEI faculty advisory committee since its inception and actively participates as a DEI training facilitator. She is committed to increasing under-represented minorities in academic medicine. She has partnered with BNGAP (Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians), an organization dedicated to helping diverse medical students and residents become aware of academic medicine as a career option. BNGAP also aims to provide diverse students and residents with the resources to further explore and potentially embark on an academic medicine career. Years ago, Dr. Lebensohn brought the BNGAP conference to COM –Tucson, a valuable way to increase visibility of an academic medicine career to under-represented minorities.
Dr. Lebensohn has consistently found ways to teach cultural humility, health disparities, and mentor and inspire faculty, residents and medical students from diverse backgrounds to provide quality care to underserved populations.