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Interview with Dr. John Inadomi: Inside the DDW® 2022 Presidential Plenary

This year’s plenary will focus on action items to eradicate health disparities in GI.
Presidential Plenary Image DDW
Presidential Plenary Image DDW

The 2022 AGA Presidential Plenary at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is designed to highlight timely and high-impact research as it pertains to AGA and the global gastroenterology community. This year’s plenary will feature a series of invited speaker talks on the ways to integrate diversity and inclusion into the field of gastroenterology and hepatology.

AGA President John M. Inadomi, MD, AGAF, will present his address titled, “Don’t Talk – Act: The Relevance of DEI to Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists and the Imperative for Action.” Read our Q&A with Dr. Inadomi below for details on what you can expect from the plenary.

Picture of John M. Inadomi, MD, AGAF

John M. Inadomi, MD, AGAF

AGA President

Most obvious is the pandemic and the social issues the pandemic has amplified have made these issues a primary concern for AGA. The pandemic forced us to reexamine ourselves and to not assume everything we’ve done in the past should be done in the future. The diversity of AGA and AGA leadership is not where we want it to be. I want to use the presidential plenary as a platform to discuss race, especially, which is only one part of DEI. I can provide perspective as an Asian American experiencing a resurgence in racism and I want to involve nationally known experts, like Monica Webb Hooper, who’ve done research on this and have fully formed ideas on how to frame the questions and talk about action items that we, as a society, should adopt. The time of reflection and awareness has passed, the time of simply providing awareness is past. Society needs to adopt action items to address and combat racism.

Later in the plenary, I’m pleased to be joined by Drs. Byron Cryer and Sandra Quezada who will talk about how they developed the AGA Equity Project and their work to implement it.

We hear a lot of talk about DEI, I hear a lot about awareness, a lot of talk about education. I asked the presidential plenary speakers to move beyond that to provide action items that AGA and its members can implement to reduce disparities in health outcomes. I hope that we will be able to measure these outcomes and see improvement over time coming out of the interventions proposed during this session.

I feel like these are core parts of gastroenterology and hepatology. So much of the disparities we see in colon cancer are a microcosm of the disparities that exist across the spectrum of GI and liver disease. They illustrate the problems with access and utilization. Disparities in colorectal cancer (CRC) outcomes are exacerbated by the pandemic. I chose liver disease because it’s another area where racial disparities exist and are exacerbated by the pandemic. All three are core services provided by gastroenterologists and hepatologists and represent areas where racism has caused disparities in outcomes, which are greatly magnified by the pandemic.

It’s important for me to listen to people who are the target of racism and hear how they want AGA to address their concerns. I want a better understanding of why ABGH was formed and why now. I want to hear what they hope to achieve and how they believe the AGA can help.

The full AGA Presidential Plenary line-up

We hope you’ll join us for the AGA Presidential Plenary, taking place Monday, May 23, at 10 a.m. PT during DDW. In addition to Dr. Inadomi’s keynote address, presentations will include:

  • AGA Julius Friedenwald Recognition of Timothy Wang
  • AGA Equity Project: Accomplishments and What Lies Ahead
  • The Genesis and Goals of the Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists (ABGH)
  • What We Need to Overcome Racial and Ethnic Barriers to Engage in Clinical Trials
  • Reducing Disparities in Colorectal Cancer
  • Reducing Disparities in Liver Disease
  • Reducing Disparities in IBD


Register today to attend Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2022 taking place May 21-24, in San Diego, California, or as part of the virtual program. 

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