DEI Faculty Spotlight - Alice Boylan, M.D.

Natalie Wilson
October 28, 2022
Faculty Spotlight on Alice Boylan, M.D.

As part of the Department of Medicine’s goal to promote a departmental culture that values and honors diversity, equity, and inclusion, we’re “spotlighting” DOM faculty, trainees and staff who are engaged in academic and community work that supports diversity, equity and inclusion.

Read an interview below with Alice Boylan, M.D., professor and chief of the Acute, Critical & Trauma ICCE. Boylan shares why she decided to take an active role in DEI initiatives through mentorship and what she hopes to achieve through her work.

Promoting diversity and inclusion through mentorship

Dr. Boylan’s passion for mentoring underrepresented minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community began early in her medical career journey.

“I did my fellowship during the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. I got to know a lot of people suffering and being discriminated against, and got to know them very personally during a very difficult time,” said Boylan. “Personal stories motivate you. Friends motivate you. Observing suffering motivates you.”

“Additionally, as a woman in medicine, and specifically in pulmonary critical care, it was difficult for me to find a mentor that I could turn to when times were tough and who could advocate for me early in my career,” said Boylan. This experience gave me greater awareness about the transformative power that mentorship can have on an individual’s experience and career path.”

Leading by example every day, Dr. Boylan has made a positive impact on countless trainees and colleagues by prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in her work. She regularly seeks opportunities to engage in discussions with her mentees about their professional goals and is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment at MUSC.

One of her mentees, Anthony Hale, MSN, RN, NE-BC, System Director of Occupational & Employee Health at MUSC Health, shared the impact Dr. Boylan has had on his career.

From their very first meeting, seven years ago during Anthony’s interview for a leadership position in the palliative care program, Dr. Boylan made him feel supported and encouraged to be his authentic self. “My leadership career would not have been such a great honor, if not for the guidance and mentorship of Alice. I have benefited greatly from Alice’s wisdom over the years, including her encouragement to exercise empathy, listening to understand, and ensuring all key stakeholders are engaged with decisions that will impact processes, as all perspectives are important,” said Hale.

“Alice truly is a DEI leader by example. She is inclusive, shares her experiences of working alongside underrepresented minorities, and shares her own experience as a female in medicine and research. She has really helped me gain confidence in being myself in my leadership roles. I am truly privileged to have the gift of Alice’s mentorship in my life.”

Joining MUSC faculty in 1995, Dr. Boylan’s clinical expertise and research interests focus on the diagnosis and treatment of critically ill patients. She currently serves as professor and chief of the Acute, Critical & Trauma ICCE, and has been recognized for her transformative leadership at MUSC. Most notably, she was the recipient of the W. Stuart Smith Excellence in Leadership Award, MUSC Health’s highest honor, in 2019.