CHICAGO, April 28, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) convened a panel today to discuss what ACP is doing to support its commitment to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the organization and throughout the profession. The panel took place during a press briefing at Internal Medicine Meeting 2022, ACP’s annual scientific meeting.
Members of the panel were: Dr. Darilyn Moyer, ACP Executive Vice President and CEO; Dr. George Abraham, ACP President; Dr. Sue Bornstein, Chair-elect, ACP Board of Regents and Dr. Ryan Mire, ACP President-elect.
The panel discussed how ACP, led by its DEI Committee, is turning its organizational commitment to DEI into action by intentionally weaving DEI into all levels of the organization.
Dr. Abraham highlighted recent actions such as removing biased language and potential barriers to nominations for awards and honors through improved data systems; establishing an anti-harassment policy and reporting process that defines professional behavior at ACP meetings and events that feature expanded DEI-focused programing; and integrating DEI and implicit bias training for staff and governance.
ACP is also conducting an assessment of DEI needs for ACP’s governance and committees. A recently established International Medical Graduate Task Force will help to better understand the needs of its global membership, and build on ACP’s recommendations for improving conditions for those seeking to train and/or practice in the U.S. Additionally, Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP’s flagship journal, has published a robust collection of research and articles that help internal medicine physicians gain insight about DEI within the medical profession and the health disparities/inequities in patient populations.
Dr. Bornstein discussed ACP’s extensive evidence-based policies on combatting social drivers of health, eliminating barriers to care for vulnerable and underserved populations and ACP’s recommendations on disparities and discrimination in the health care workforce, educational systems and in the criminal justice system. Supporting gender equity and the unique challenges often faced by female physicians throughout their career in areas such as inequities in compensation and career advancement has been and remains a priority. Dr. Bornstein also reiterated ACP’s support for LGBTQ+ and transgender rights in healthcare and opposition to governmental interference in the patient-physician relationship, preventing physicians from delivering evidence-based medical care to their patients.
Dr. Mire emphasized that more must be done to increase DEI within medicine and the pipeline of medical education, training programs, and leadership opportunities. He noted that Dr. Quinn Capers, who delivered the annual scientific meeting’s keynote address earlier today, also co-authored “Diversity in Internal Medicine Residency Programs: Time to Redesign the Gatekeepers and the Gate,” an editorial published in Annals of Internal Medicine, that focuses on the critical lack of diversity in the physician workforce and recommends ways to overcome biases in medical selection processes that often disadvantage underrepresented applicants.
Dr. Mire stated that ACP will continue to expand access to resources to irradicate the negative impact of bias in medicine, for the workforce and patients. Recognizing that DEI efforts must be strategically intentional, require investment, and benefit from collaboration, he noted some of ACP’s recent investments to fund diversity and health equity initiatives. For example, as part of its annual scientific meeting and to help contribute to the diversity pipeline for medicine, ACP is partnering with the Chicago Scholars Foundation, whose programs identify and sponsor academically ambitious first-generation college students from Chicago.
“Over the next year and beyond, ACP will continue to build on its DEI progress through initiatives and resources that help to increase diversity for internal medicine physicians and leaders through career advancement and health equity solutions. To advance quality care to diverse populations, requires we do so.” said George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, MACP, FIDSA, president, ACP. “Our investment and collaboration with the American Medical Association’s Health2047 or hosting a summer internship program at ACP designed to inspire college students from diverse background to pursue careers in medicine and/or healthcare, are just some of the many ways we act on our commitments.”
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
ACP Media Contact: Andrew Hachadorian, (215) 351-2514, AHachadorian@acponline.org