Dr. Sholas approaches professionalism with empathy and attributes that to his success with 14 years of clinical practice experience and 11 years of executive hospital operations experience. After his matriculation at Southern University A&M College and Harvard Medical School & Grad School of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Sholas found his true purpose in rehab medicine, ultimately becoming a Rotary/One Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Rehabilitation following his residency. For society to thrive, wellness must be a top priority, and a community’s wealth should not dictate that priority. With an understanding of the needs for equity, inclusion, and cultural competence in medicine, he gained leadership and executive education through additional training.
Since 2005 through Sholas Medical Consulting, LLC, Dr. Sholas has not only published materials on just that but also improved revenue cycles for academic and non-academic hospital systems and served as an advisor in the creation of an economically viable special needs daycare for children, shattering the idea that inclusivity comes at the cost of efficiency and revenue. Even in a specialty with a minimal number of physicians available, Dr. Sholas still recruited and retained a diverse four physician specialist core. His experience as a medical director, while focusing on compassionate, equitable care to diverse communities, involved Dr. Sholas pointing out the needs of vulnerable patients in marginalized communities, as well as education and funding so that these initiatives are feasible and accessible. Patients from all socio-economic, ethnic, and religious groups have given Dr. Sholas a rating that tops 95% in customer satisfaction, even as volumes increased. He accomplished these things while also promoting efficiency, increasing profit, and creating new revenue streams for his organizations. Dr. Sholas’ blend of knowledge, compassion, and efficiency is what makes him a trusted voice in diversity and inclusion as well as one who specializes in results.
The need for equitable racial and ethnic outcomes for patients under the rehabilitation umbrella is crucial to a physiatric practice. Change requires approaches that move from micro to macro: targeting individual behavior, institutional factors, and systemic challenges. Schematically, this is represented in Figure 1.
It is important to distinguish between intent and impact: Intent is the understanding of what the actor meant by the behavior; the impact of the behavior is the effect the microaggression has on the recipient. The key is focusing on the impact we make on our trainees and others, not defending our intent. For example, as presented in the introduction to this journal section, microinvalidations are “communications that exclude, negate or nullify the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of a person of color.” When we commit a microaggression, responses such as “I was just joking” invalidate the impact on the recipient and fail to move forward our training culture.
Despite his many accomplishments, driving his car can be an intimidating experience for Maurice Sholas because of the color of his skin, he says.
“I am an MD-PhD from Harvard with a senior leadership position at a major organization, yet I’ve been stopped by police every time I’ve gone into the suburbs around Minneapolis,” Sholas says. “Not sometimes. Every single time.”