Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Here at the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine, we recognize that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) comes in many forms, including race/ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, as well as a multitude of others. Our residents have the unique opportunity to work closely with rural Appalachian patients, a historically socioeconomically disadvantaged population, with low healthcare literacy.  Our goal is to recruit residents of different backgrounds in order to better serve our patients, foster a learning environment that celebrates individuals of all backgrounds, and train culturally competent physicians who will thrive in any setting they find themselves in after graduation.

As part of our DEI efforts, departmental leadership has participated in a variety of activities over the past few years. These include, but are not limited to, student advising of EM bound students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including on campus visits to some of these institutions and scholarships for underrepresented in medicine (UIM) students to rotate at WVU.

Want to learn more about our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at WVU? Several helpful resources and links are included below. Please look at them!

Faculty Spotlight

Sharon Watkins, MD

Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine

Dr. Watkins firmly believes that DEI is important in healthcare in order to enhance providers’ ability to care for minority populations. Currently, she serves as a faculty member in the WVU Global Health Program in order to promote cultural awareness amongst residents and students.

In the future, Dr. Watkins hopes to work with the Health Sciences Center and the university wide WVU Division of DEI to create more professional development opportunities to reduce implicit bias in medicine. When asked about her experience at WVU DEM, she says, “This has been the best career decision I’ve made. I’ve found a close-knit group of physicians that are dedicated to ensuring that physicians, residents, staff, and patients are treated respectfully and equitably.” She is excited about working with residents who are dedicated to DEI in order to continue promoting a culturally sensitive environment.


Associate Professor Emergency Medicine
Director, Division of Prehospital Medicine

Dr. Martin is passionate about minority populations, especially the LGBTQ+ community. He currently serves as one of the faculty advisors for SHAPE (Student Healthcare Alliance Promoting Equality), works closely with the WVU LGBTQ Center, and is very active in educating healthcare providers about LGBTQ+ topics at regional, national, and international conferences. In the future, Dr. Martin would like to provide Safe Zone training for WVU’s community and rural emergency department staff. He says, “It is our responsibility to make certain our institutions provide an atmosphere of comfort and trust for all patients, especially those who are marginalized by society.” Being a native West Virginian, Dr. Martin believes that Morgantown provides a great training environment as it is one of the most diverse and inclusive communities in the state. He feels that the WVU DEM strives to provide a welcoming environment that is inclusive of everyone, and he looks forward to educating future residents in order to promote better patient care.

Erica Shaver, MD, FACEP

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
Residency Program Director, Emergency Medicine
Vice Chair of Education

Dr. Shaver is proud to be a part of the WVU DEM and to be a female physician leader. In her free time, she enjoys serving in the WVU SOM Sisters in Medicine, a group that provides female faculty mentorship to interested medical students, as well as many other DEI efforts. Currently, the national average for women in an EM residency program is approximately 37%. In a specialty that has been historically male-dominated, Dr. Shaver is pleased that the WVU EM residency program is comprised of 53% women. When asked why female representation in medicine is important, she says, “Having strong female mentors when I was a resident was tremendously inspiring and offered me a support system who truly understood, and had been navigating, the challenges of being a woman in medicine. Being able to look to these amazing female colleagues/mentors who had paved the way reassured me that it is possible to have a successful career in medicine, while being a strong and influential female outside of medicine.”

In the future, Dr. Shaver would like to become more involved with female physician advocacy on the national level. When asked about how her perspective influences her role as PD, she says, “We are all equal within WVU Emergency Medicine, with everyone’s thoughts and beliefs accepted equally. I want all of our residents, regardless of individual traits and characteristics, to feel confident that they are supported in our program and beyond, and that they can and will make a significant impact on their patients and this specialty if they continue to chase their dreams.”

Scott Findley, MD

Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine
Director, Rural Emergency Medicine Institute

Dr. Findley is dedicated to promoting rural healthcare, as rural populations are especially at risk due to many factors, including geographic, socioeconomic, and basic resource allocation. He serves as the Director of the Rural Emergency Medicine Institute (REMI) and is an advocate for the “hub and spoke” staffing model. When asked about this model, Dr. Findley explains, “Most of my clinical work is in smaller hospitals throughout our network, and there are quite a few other providers who share split roles like mine. Our group is the link between rural/community EDs and Ruby, and by leveraging this network, we can develop and deploy programs to meet the communities’ needs.” Some of these programs include rural telemedicine services and the REMI resident rotation. Dr. Findley finds the WVU DEM to be an incredibly welcoming environment, which is one of the reasons he decided to stay as faculty. He says, “Morgantown will surprise you. You may have to step outside of your comfort zone at times, but that’s the moment where your biggest growth happens.”

Additional Resources:

Underrepresented Minorities

                Multicultural Association for Students in Healthcare (MASH)

                WVU Center for Black Culture and Research             

Women in Medicine 

                American Medical Women’s Association – WVUSOM Chapter                

                WVU Center for Women’s and Gender Studies                


                Student Healthcare Alliance for Promoting Equality (SHAPE)               

                Safe Zone Training for Healthcare Professionals

Socioeconomic Disparities and Rural Health 

                Milan Puskar Health Right Clinic                

                Mountaineer Health Initiative

Other Links: 

WVU Health Sciences Center Diversity

GME Diversity Policy

WVU HSC DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Council

WVU Diversity and Inclusion Office

WVU Libraries DEI Resource Guide

AMA Health Equity Guide