As part of the AGA Equity Project, the AGA Institute Council reviewed how we develop DDW programming to ensure that we include diverse voices and opinions in the selection and presentation of science.
The key starting point is ensuring we have diverse abstract review committees. These groups are responsible for selecting abstracts, programming sessions and inviting speakers and moderators.
- Reviewers’ terms are limited to allow for fresh voices.
- Reviewer rosters are scrutinized every year for representation based on experience, gender, race, ethnicity, as well as years in practice. These criteria also guide the nomination of new reviewers.
We conduct blinded abstract review. This blunts favoritism and preferential selection of abstracts from well-known groups.
- Abstracts do not include author names or institutions.
- We ask abstract submitters to omit mentions of geography, grant number, or other information that may identify specific authors or medical centers.
- These blindly scored abstracts comprise AGA’s abstract-driven sessions. Abstract authors are responsible for the conduct and authorship of their studies. AGA does not decide which authors are included on abstracts or who presents at DDW.
In addition to these two steps, the AGA Council scrutinizes the full list of potential speakers before invitations are sent to ensure a wide representation based on experience, gender, race, ethnicity, years in practice.
The council has also taken steps to increase health disparities research with the creation of an abstract descriptor to support sessions on the broad impact of socioeconomic, racial and other disparities across the spectrum of GI health, the impact of provider–level disparities in GI health care delivery and education, and issues of equity and inclusion within GI. We also recognize disparities research at DDW. Last year, we gave the first-annual AGA Institute Council Health Care Disparities Research Award to the top oral and the top poster presenters.