The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) announced today that David A. Acosta, MD, has been named the association’s new chief diversity and inclusion officer after a nationwide search. Acosta is currently senior associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of California (UC), Davis School of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for UC Davis Health System. He will join the AAMC on Feb. 27, 2017, succeeding Marc Nivet, EdD, who served as the association’s chief diversity officer from 2010 to 2016.
In his new role, Acosta will provide strategic vision and leadership for the AAMC’s diversity and inclusion activities across the medical education community and will serve as a national representative on related issues.
“As a leading voice on diversity and inclusion in academic medicine, Dr. Acosta has worked tirelessly to advance efforts to increase the diversity of the physician workforce and provide access to care for the medically underserved,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO. “He has served in a leadership role as a member of the AAMC’s Group on Diversity and Inclusion since 2009, and we are pleased to welcome him to the AAMC to lead these efforts on behalf of the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals.”
A physician of family medicine, Acosta previously served as the inaugural chief diversity officer at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, where he established a rural health fellowship program for Tacoma Family Medicine, a residency program affiliated with the UW Department of Family Medicine. He also led development of the Center for Cultural Proficiency in Medical Education at UW School of Medicine, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and received a Washington State Association of Multicultural Education award.
“I am excited to join the AAMC and look forward to working with my new colleagues to develop the strategic vision for the next generation of work in equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Acosta. “It is a distinct honor to have the opportunity to work with such an innovative, creative, and dedicated team to continue their present work and to plan strategically for the immediate future and rethink what’s possible to meet the needs of our constituents and the communities they serve.”
Acosta is a member of a number of national organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and the National Association for Rural Medical Educators. He has served on various AAMC committees, including as a member of the steering committee for Group on Diversity and Inclusion from 2009 to 2015 and as committee chair from 2011 to 2013. He served on the AAMC Comprehensive Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) Review Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2011.
Acosta received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola University and earned his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. He completed his residency training at Community Hospital of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, Calif., and a faculty development fellowship at the UW Department of Family Medicine.
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.