Pilar Ortega, MD, MGM Joins the ACGME as Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

January 11, 2023

The ACGME has named Dr. Pilar Ortega as Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Ortega will support efforts to address harassment, discrimination, and other forms of mistreatment in the graduate medical education (GME) learning environment; improve retention and well-being for diverse resident and fellow physicians; and disseminate information on diversity, equity, and inclusion activities to the GME community. Dr. Ortega is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in linguistically and culturally appropriate health care.

Prior to joining the ACGME, Dr. Ortega was a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine and medical education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UICOM). She has more than 15 years' experience creating and evaluating innovative programs throughout the medical education continuum. Her groundbreaking work in medical Spanish education and assessment has contributed to the recognition of language equity as an area of scholarly inquiry in medicine. While at UICOM, Dr. Ortega developed a longitudinal program to teach clinicians about effective cross-linguistic communication, language skills assessment, and working effectively with medical interpreters; this course is now a required element of the UICOM’s Doctoring and Clinical Skills curriculum. She also co-founded two non-profit organizations that foster interprofessional collaborative scholarship focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging: the Medical Organization for Latino Advancement and the National Association of Medical Spanish. To date, Dr. Ortega has published four books and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has delivered more than 100 national and international presentations.

Dr. Ortega has mentored numerous underrepresented in medicine learners and junior faculty members in advancing their academic scholarship through her roles in the Latino Medical Student Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the MedEdPORTAL journal, and the Association of American Medical Colleges Research in Medical Education committee. She maintains an appointment as adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine and medical education at UICOM.

Dr. Ortega earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy at the Johns Hopkins University, her Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in graphic medicine from the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.