Monica Vela
Section of General Internal Medicine
Professor of Medicine
Associate Vice Chair for Diversity; Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs
Referring Physician Access Line: 1-877-DOM-2730


BS1989University of IllinoisPsychology
MD1993The University of Chicago 
Residency1996The University of ChicagoInternal Medicine

Academic Interests

Dr. Vela is a leader in scholarship and education related to health care disparities and diversity in medicine. Dr. Vela piloted and implemented an innovative new curriculum in health care disparities which has now become an required course at the Pritzker School of Medicine. This work has been presented nationally and published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and has gained broad attention as it is one of the few required courses on health care disparities among American medical schools. Within PSOM, Dr. Vela plays an active role in the recruitment and support of students underrepresented in medicine. As the Associate Vice Chair for Diversity in the Department of Medicine Dr. Vela works to improve recruitment, retention, scholarship, leadership, and mentorship of residents and fellows, and faculty in an environment rich with cultural awareness, and sensitivity. She has made a major impact by increasing cultural diversity in medicine and improving minority health.

Clinical Interests

General Internal Medicine, Preventive Health Care.

Representative Publications

  1. Vela, M., Kim K, Tang H., Chin M.  Improving Under-Represented Minority Medical Student Recruitment with Health Disparities Curriculum’ Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2010 May;25 Suppl 2:S82-5.PMID: 20352498
  2. Press VG, Pincavage AT, Pappalardo AA, Baker DC, Conwell WC, Cohen JC, Hoyte FL, Johnson ME, Prochaska MV, Vela MB, Arora VM. The Chicago Breath Prject: A Regional Approach to Improving Education on Asthma Inhalers for Resident Physicians and Minority Patients. J Natl Med Assoc. 2010 Jul; 102(7): 548-55.
  3. Vela, M., Kim, K., Tang, H. Chin, M. 'Innovative Health Care Disparities Curriculum for Incoming Medical Students' Journal of General Internal Medicine, Medical Education 2008 Jul;23(7):1028-32.PMID: 18612738
  4. Overcoming Ethnic Health Disparities: Improving the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertension, Diabetes and their Complications. Association of Black Cardiologists Self Assessment Program. Edition 1. 2008 Program Faculty
  5. Vela, M., Kim, K., Tang, H. Chin, M. Abstract Presentation: Innovative Health Care Disparities Curriculum for Incoming Medical Students. Association of American Medical Colleges Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. Research in Medical Education (RIME) Conference 2007

More Information

For more information about Dr. Monica Vela publications and research collaborations , please click here