Released on Oct 11, 2022

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, and The American Journal of Gastroenterology. An executive summary is also available in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Key findings:

  1. 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:
  2. a. 63% of Black physicians were very or somewhat unsatisfied with workplace diversity, whereas 78% of White physicians were very or somewhat satisfied.

  3. Interventions are needed. Among those who recommended interventions to enhance racial and gender diversity in the profession, the most common suggestions were to increase:


    a. 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.

    b. 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).


About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

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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 almost 15,000 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. Visit Asge.org and ValueOfColonoscopy.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.

 

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