Erica Taylor, M.D., ’05, has been named the assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM).
Taylor transitions to the role from her previous position as BSOM pediatrics clerkship director. She will continue to serve as a pediatric hospitalist at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Taylor fills the position following the departure of Kevin Jerome Watt, M.D., who returned to full dedication to his clinical practice. “Dr. Kevin Watt has done amazing work, and I am honored to continue his legacy,” said Taylor.
Areas of focus for this position include supporting the development of future physicians, providing excellent medical care with compassion and cultural humility; helping to maintain the BSOM commitment to having diverse student and faculty populations that is reflective of today’s multicultural society; and helping to provide a supportive, safe environment that allows students to develop their skills and discover their place in the medical community.
Collaboration with faculty and staff is also a goal for Taylor, including working with BSOM in developing strategies that support curricular diversity, organizational needs assessments in the areas of diversity and inclusion, and coordination and support of longstanding pipeline programs for increasing diversity in medicine.
“We hope to serve as a safe space for students to discuss concerns and provide the supportive environment that is needed for success for BSOM students, as well as support of the development and retention of inspired and dedicated faculty,” Taylor said.
A 2005 graduate of BSOM, Taylor completed her internship in internal medicine and pediatrics in 2007 and in 2010 completed residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics, both at BSOM.
“As an alumnus of BSOM, I am aware of the rich legacy of wonderful physicians that this medical school has supported, with an understanding that even with the progress we have made as an institution, we have an obligation to continue to be an ally, advocate and voice for our patients and our community,” said Taylor.
She added, “I have directly benefited from a rich legacy of wonderful leaders in diversity and inclusion. From my first day on campus, leaders such as Alonzo Patterson, M.D., shared that BSOM’s goal of not only recruitment, but matriculation of its students was important. In my class, there were 17 minority students, which created an environment rich in support and encouragement. This is the reason that I stand here today. Student’s journeys are challenging, and not just reflective of their academic performance, but of knowledge of self and knowledge of others (or the mature recognition of a lack thereof). BSOM has a longstanding vision of providing a medical community that is reflective of the national landscape and supports the need to demonstrate why diversity is important. Wright State University’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center is a testimony to our communities’ commitment to advocacy, activism and representation.”
Taylor’s academic appointments with BSOM go back to 2010 when she was chief resident with the BSOM integrated pediatric residency program. She was the first African American to hold this position.
She is currently an assistant professor and clerkship director for the Department of Pediatrics. Taylor is also community medicine residency elective director with the integrated pediatric residency program. The pediatric residency program provides training to BSOM pediatric residents at Dayton Children’s Hospital and the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center pediatric clinic.
Her past roles with BSOM have included clinical preceptor for internal medicine and pediatrics, clinical assistant professor and associate clerkship director for the Department of Pediatrics.
Taylor has served on nearly 20 local and national committees throughout her career. Her most recent roles include teaching and learning lead for the national nonprofit Aquifer Educators Consortium, chair of the BSOM student promotions committee, member of the BSOM doctoring committee and member of the residency education committee at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Taylor has been published several times and has received multiple awards, including the Dr. Algernon B. Jackson Award of Distinction in Medical Education and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.
She received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans in 1998, graduating cum laude.
Taylor believes there is no more critical time than today to continue speaking up and for understanding how policies that are rooted in systemic racism create health disparities and are lethal, physically and spiritually.