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Historic data released on physician views on race, ethnicity and diversity in gastroenterology

First survey of its kind identifies representation and mentorship as top priorities for enhancing GI workforce diversity

Bethesda, MD (Oct. 11, 2022) — The Intersociety Group on Diversity (IGD) partnered with researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) released results of the first study of its kind to explore perspectives on workforce diversity and health equity among practicing GI and hepatology professionals. 

The report — Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in GI and Hepatology: A Survey of Where We Stand — was published jointly today in Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, HEPATOLOGY, andThe American Journal of Gastroenterology.  An executive summary is also available in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 

Key findings: 

  • Many are complacent with current levels of diversity. Despite the well-recognized under-representation of certain racial and ethnic groups in GI/hepatology, a small proportion of survey participants (one-third or fewer) felt that racial/ethnic representation was insufficient in the educational/training pipeline, among practicing professionals, or in GI/hepatology leadership. There was a clear discrepancy in satisfaction with workplace diversity among GI and hepatology physicians by race and ethnicity: 
    • 63% of Black physicians were very or somewhat unsatisfied with workplace diversity, whereas 78% of White physicians were very or somewhat satisfied.  
  • Interventions are needed. Among those who recommended interventions to enhance racial and gender diversity in the profession, the most common suggestions were to increase: 
    • Mentorship opportunities for resident and medical students who are women or from racial and ethnic populations underrepresented in medicine (UIM) relative to their numbers in the general population. These groups have traditionally included Latino (i.e., Latino/a/x), Black/African American, and Native American individuals (namely, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), Pacific Islanders, and mainland Puerto Ricans. 
    • Representation of UIM GI/hepatology professionals in academic and professional society leadership. 

 

“This study helps to establish priorities for diversity, equity and inclusion in our field and informs future interventions to improve workforce diversity and eliminate health care disparities among the patients we serve,” said Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, survey corresponding author.  

More than 1,200 individuals participated in this nationwide, cross-sectional, 33-question survey. The survey was developed by University of California, Los Angeles investigators Harman Rahal, MD; James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD; Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil; and Liu Yang, PhD. The IGD, co-chaired at the time by Darrell M. Gray, II, MD, MPH, and Rachel Issaka, MD, MAS, provided input and facilitated survey distribution. 

Read the special report: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in GI and Hepatology: A Survey of Where We Stand 

Formed in 2020, the Intersociety Group on Diversity (IGD) works collaboratively across the five gastroenterology professional societies to guide, support and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the GI field. The coalition includes the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. The IGD aims to increase diversity in gastroenterology among our societies’ members, our pipeline of trainees, and leadership; and eradicate health disparities in the patients and populations our members serve. Leadership of the IGD rotates among the GI societies and the current IGD chair is Sandra Quezada, MD (AGA). 

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Media contact: 
Courtney Reed, media@gastro.org, 301-272-0025 

About the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease 

AASLD is the leading organization of clinicians and researchers committed to preventing and curing liver disease. The work of our members has laid the foundation for the development of drugs used to treat patients with viral hepatitis. Access to care and support of liver disease research are at the center of AASLD’s advocacy efforts. News releases and additional information about AASLD are available online at www.aasld.org 

About the American College of Gastroenterology 

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of over 17,000 individuals from 86 countries. The College’s vision is to be the preeminent professional organization that champions the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of digestive disorders, serving as a beacon to guide the delivery of the highest quality, compassionate, and evidence-based patient care. The mission of the College is to enhance the ability of our members to provide world-class care to patients with digestive disorders and advance the profession through excellence and innovation based upon the pillars of Patient Care, Education, Scientific Investigation, Advocacy and Practice Management. www.gi.org. 

About the AGA Institute  

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. www.gastro.org. 

About the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 

Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 14,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. www.asge.org  

About the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

The mission of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is to be a world leader in research, education, clinical practice and advocacy for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in health and disease. The membership of NASPGHAN consists of more than 2600 pediatric gastroenterologists, predominantly in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and 8 provinces in Canada. NASPGHAN strives to improve the care of infants, children and adolescents with digestive disorders by promoting advances in clinical care, research and education.

 

 

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