Dear colleagues,

The last three months have been very difficult for our community and for our nation. Together we have confronted the COVID-19 pandemic, a national and international emergency that has led to significant fear and anxiety, for our Hampton Roads community at-large, and for those of us in medical education. All of us have been significantly affected by this pandemic – residents, fellows, faculty and administration. There are many unanswered questions regarding the future and our role as educators in that future.

The recent terrible killings of Black men and women – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd – have caused further fear and anxiety, as well as anger and grief. Eastern Virginia Medical School was founded in 1973 as an institution to help provide much needed medical care to our community, and prides itself as being one of the most community-oriented medical schools in the country. Our community of Hampton Roads has a significant African-American population, many of whom have been particularly ravaged by COVID-19, and are now grieving further examples of structural racism. Those grieving include those of us in medical education, many of whom are persons of color, and many of whom are among minority groups.

The EVMS Graduate Medical Education Council believes very strongly that we must support each other during these very difficult times. We are hurting and must be able to share our feelings and concerns in a healthy, safe environment.  We are calling on all of our Graduate Medical Educational programs to reach out to your residents, fellows, faculty and administrative staff to offer any support needed. We are working with the EVMS Office of Diversity and Inclusion to provide needed resources to all members of our GME community – including educational resources, and resources involving mental health and well-being.

Below is a list of pertinent resources – and we encourage you all to share those resources that you have found helpful that are missing from this list.  We will send updates to all of you as they become available. Please make these available immediately to all of those in your GME program – learners, faculty and administration. Please make time to hear and act on the concerns of those individuals. Allow for time for them to speak, to be heard, and to heal.   

These are incredibly difficult, sad and stressful times.  We are all hurting. We must care for one another and must support one another, and look out for each other during this time.

In solidarity,

Linda R. Archer, PhD, Vice Dean for Graduate Medical Education,

Eastern Virginia Medical School


EVMS GME Subcommittee for Diversity and Inclusion, Chaired by

Shriti Patel, MD


EVMS GME Subcommittee for Diversity and Inclusion members:


Eric Dobratz, MD

David Lieb, MD

Mekbib Gemeda, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

Shannon McCole, MD

Agatha Parks-Savage, EdD, RN, LPC

Anton Quidgley-Nevares, MD

Benjamin Rubinstein, MD

Phillip Thomas, MD

Jerri Waller, MD



(With appreciation to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council in the Department of Medicine at the Emory School of Medicine)


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Disaster Distress Helpline – 1 (800) 985-5990 provides immediate crisis counseling to people affected by traumatic events in Minnesota 


EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences – (757) 446-5888.


EVMS Institutional Wellness Committee (website here)




Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism Work and Practicing Solidarity

o   We are Living in a Racist Pandemic

o   Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay – Chances are They’re Not

o   Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma

o   The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine

o   ”White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh