“We want to improve student and trainee attendance at ACR Convergence, because we’ve seen that 26% of trainees who attend the meeting go on to a career in rheumatology,” she says.
Dr. Blanco is optimistic the ACR can build momentum through its actions. For example, supporting program directors to train fellows to have more sensitive, inclusive conversations with patients from diverse populations may foster mutual understanding, promote adherence to treatment recommendations and help improve outcomes, she says.
“How do we bring greater awareness and discussion of these issues to our membership, so we can also take better care of our patients? That’s what patient-centered care is all about: the needs of our patients. As an educator at a medical school, I think about this more and more. How can doctors contribute to a system where we have better outcomes for all of our patients?”
Susan Bernstein is a freelance journalist based in Atlanta.
- American College of Rheumatology. 2015 Workforce Study of Rheumatology Specialists in the United States.
DEI Task Force Recommendations
- Subcommittee: To provide permanency and continuity to the DEI efforts, the task force recommends that a DEI subcommittee be formed under the auspices of the COIN Special Committee.
- Strategic Plan: Specific, clear, measurable DEI objectives should be incorporated into the upcoming strategic plan. In addition, we recommend including verbiage on our DEI focus in the ACR mission statement.
- Engage a consultant to conduct a deeper assessment and create a structured, SMART plan for execution of the task torce’s broader recommendations.
- Establish a permanent staff position to ensure ongoing operational attention to DEI throughout the ACR.
- The work of the Foundation is an integral part of the College as a whole. As such, the ACR should strongly recommend to the Foundation that it also make DEI a priority. The task force leadership will communicate specific recommendations related to the Foundation directly.
- Develop and disseminate education that can be implemented for select audiences playing a role in development of ACR Convergence 2021.
- Develop and implement a networking strategy for underrepresented minority members.
DEI Subcommittee Members
Irene Blanco, MD, MS
Ashira Blazer, MD, MSCI
Alisha Akinsete, MD
Micaela F. Bayard, MD
Hazel L. Breland, PhD, FAOTA
Sharon Dowell, MD
Titilola Falasinu, PhD
Candace H. Feldman, MD, MPH, ScD
Elizabeth D. Ferucci, MD
Mileka Gilbert, MD, PhD
Edward B. Herzig, MD
Thaila Ramanujam, MD
Jillian Rose, LCSW, MPH