Mark Curato, DO
Weill Cornell Medicine
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
What I would like to offer as a collaborator…
Among my many interests is identifying factors and obstacles leading to the leaky pipeline spanning from motivated high school students who are underrepresented minorities or from underserved backgrounds, through college, medical school, and into a career in medicine. I believe many who drop off that path do so for reasons which are eminently manageable. I’d consider it one of my crowning professional achievements if I could make some impact in “plugging the holes” in that leaky pipeline.
What I am looking for from a collaborator…
My strength lies in my academic and clinical experiences heretofore—I have worked and taught widely disparate environments. For 5 years, I was clinical faculty at an urban community hospital in Bronx, NY. That hospital is under-resourced and the community is underserved in every regard. I bore witness to the frustrations and injustices endured by those on the losing end of health inequity. During that time I was an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at CUNY. That school’s stated mission is to train doctors to: “…provide quality health services to communities historically underserved by primary care practitioners”. My medical students were almost exclusively underrepresented minorities and the school was relatively under-resourced. I learned many lessons in creativity and enjoyed many improbable victories, but also saw disadvantage and inequity in action. I have now been at Weill Cornell Medicine for about a year and am practicing and teaching at the other end of this equity spectrum. My past and present give me the perspective and firsthand experience to think concretely about problems and solutions surrounding racism, inequity, and disparities in healthcare.
The challenge I perceive is impressing upon learners that culturally responsive healthcare and notions of health equity are as important our practice of medicine as anything else we learn or do. These “non-clinical” topics are the very essence of a career well spent in medicine.