I Cannot Be What I Cannot See:
Time To Unleash A JEDI Healthcare Environment
Friday, March 12, 2021
10:05am – 11:05am
The imperative has never been greater, the data never more compelling, and the solutions never more daunting. As Covid-19 descended on our population, it amplified the deep and dark underbelly of health inequities, systemic racism, and exacerbation of the unacceptable status quo.
How and why do all the stakeholders in healthcare work together with our patients and communities to correct these inequities for our patients and healthcare workforce? The data for patient-physician racial and gender congruity leading to improved patient outcomes is accumulating. Nonetheless, there has not been a proportional increase in black men entering medical school since 1978. Despite the rapid, recent expansion of new medical schools and medical school classes, none of the last 30 have been in conjunction with a historically black college or university (HBCU). Despite > 30 years of organizations trying to move the needle to ensure that women and others underrepresented in medicine have their proportional representation in chair and impactful dean positions, the needle has barely moved. We should not suffer the tyranny of low expectations of just getting one woman and/or URiM to a position of power, but rather settle only for tectonic shifts that give appropriate representation proportional to patient populations. In 2015, 51%, 17.6%, 13.3%, and 1.2% of the U.S population were women, LatinX, black, and American Indian, respectively.
The tsunami of data regarding systemic disadvantages and barriers to women and others underrepresented in the healthcare workforce is incontrovertible. Now is the time to fix this as potential new physicians, and others in healthcare, cannot be what they cannot see. As the world’s largest medical specialty organization with 163,000 members, the American College of Physicians, has a strong voice in representing internal medicine physicians, who comprise ~25% of U.S. practicing physicians. Health justice, becoming an anti-racist organization, and achieving a diverse, equitable, and inclusive healthcare environment are part of ACP’s strategic priorities and current goals.
As I stated in a recent interview for the WIM Conference “Every society should do the foundational work of systematically and comprehensively resetting its organizational vision, mission, and goals through a lens of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. This foundational work should be directly accountable to the fiduciary board and governance body, and should permeate every structure in the organization including committees, councils, and local chapters. These new structures, informed by metrics, need to be transparent, evaluated, adjusted, and continuously measured. Societies need to generously share their data through publications and presentations. There is excellent language in medical school, graduate medical program, and healthcare environment accreditation and regulatory standards that recognize that more just, diverse, equitable, and inclusive (JEDI) healthcare environments lead to safer and higher quality outcomes for our patients. The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), comprised of 45 national physician professional societies representing > 800K physicians, has DEI as one of its top 2 strategic priorities.
In healthcare and life, we need to walk the talk. It’s time to communicate, collaborate, and execute a plan to get our healthcare system to a more JEDI place. And while we’re on this journey, let’s make a difference for those who previously couldn’t see what they could be. Let’s Get Loud!
- Review data germane to women in medicine including compensation and advancement
- Define specific obstacles to achieving equity at the micro and macro level
- Describe potential actionable interventions to work towards achieving equity at the micro and macro levels, not just for women, but for all underrepresented groups in healthcare
Darilyn V. Moyer, MD, FACP, FRCP, FIDSA
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
American College of Physicians
Dr. Moyer has disclosed that she has no financial conflict of interest relevant to this presentation.
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The following planners and reviewers have stated that they have no conflict of interest relative to this activity: Theresa J. Barrett, PhD, CMP, CAE; Mirela Feurdean, MD; Tamie Proscia-Lieto, MD; Jonathan Shammash, MD, FACP; Nayan Kothari, MD, Christine Bersani, Kathleen Cavallo; Herb Holland
|10:05am – 11:05am||Darilyn Moyer, MD|