Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Message from the Chair

James K. Liao, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson

The Department of Medicine is committed to excellence and innovation in health care, education and biomedical research. We believe a diverse workforce in healthcare improves patient care and contributes to eliminate health disparities in our society. Our ability to deliver excellent results in research and patient care is fueled by our ability to entrench this diversity, equity, and inclusion in our culture. We actively promote this inclusiveness among our employees, raise awareness, and nurture an environment that salutes and upholds different perspectives, cultures, and diversity of thought.

James Liao, MD
Chair, Department of Medicine
Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Professor of Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson

College DEI Resources
Health Sciences DEI Resources
UArizona DEI Resources 

Message from our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Vice Chair

Christian Bime, MD, MScThe Department of Medicine believes in a culture focused on diversity and inclusion, which according to us, is the key driver of creativity and invention. We respect diversity in race, ethnicity, culture, physical abilities, talents, language, spiritual practices, sexual orientation, gender identity, and life experiences, which are essential to the successful attainment of our mission to promote health and improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease for all the people of Arizona and beyond, through education, research, and patient care.  It is also an obligation from the department to support an inclusive culture and practice to leverage our full potential. We treat each other with respect, develop our capabilities, and promote diversity in all relevant dimensions. We take personal responsibility, always act with integrity, and lead by example. We respect all visible and invisible differences to create an equitable, healthy, and high-performing department where all individuals feel valued, and their contributions are appreciated. We expect each of us, no matter our level, role, or function, to play an active role in creating an atmosphere where people of a diverse range of backgrounds are excited to bring all of who they are and do their best work. We firmly believe that a diverse team will inspire innovation and new ways of solving problems, but they need an inclusive culture and leadership skills to help them play their best. It is also crucial that our leaders know and understand the commitment to diversity and inclusion and their expectations. Hence we put particular emphasis on strengthening inclusive leadership.

Diversity is a focus of the Department of Medicine's recruitment and retention practices. In 2014, Dr. Monica Kraft became the first woman chair of the Department. In accordance with the College of Medicine - Tucson's commitment to inclusive excellence, the Department of Medicine reflects this commitment by, 

  • Educating, training and employing diverse faculty, staff and student body. 
  • Providing cutting edge medical research 
  • Fostering the development of personal attributes in its employees and students that are necessary to achieve its mission, 
  • Encouraging and supporting culturally relevant scholarly activities, that acknowledge and respect systems of healing that emerge from different traditions, and 
  • Providing a culturally competent, inclusive and respectful environment. 

Christian Bime, MD, MSc
Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
Associate Professor, Clinical Translational Sciences
Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Department of Medicine
Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson
Member of the Graduate Faculty

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champions

Bijin Thajudeen, MD                                                 Rocio Zapata Bustos, PhD
Associate Professor, Medicine                                      Research Assistant Professor, Medicine
Diversity Champion, Department of Medicine               Diversity Champion, Department of Medicine 

“I am a proud Mexican immigrant who has found a new home in Tucson and the University of Arizona. I recently became Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency program at South Campus. It is important for me to see that minority groups as well represented across our leadership. I am proud to work at an institution that values effort and achievements regardless of identity and strives to provide equal opportunity to all members”.  

Carlos Tafich-Rios, MD
Former Resident, Internal Medicine, Tucson Campus (2013-16)
Former Clinical Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, South Campus 
Current Fellow, Rheumatology Fellowship Program