September 11, 2018
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AGA launches program to promote diversity in workforce, research

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The AGA is launching a new program to help facilitate new career and research opportunities for underrepresented minority and women physicians.

Supported by an NIH grant, the AGA FORWARD (Fostering Opportunities Resulting in Workforce and Research Diversity) PROGRAM will provide development and mentoring opportunities to two 10-person cohorts over the course of five years, according to a press release.

“We have designed a program to assure that all participants gain a very solid sense of the realities and needed skills to pursue a satisfying career in research and will provide support to help participants achieve their goals,” project director Byron Cryer, MD, of the Office of Faculty Diversity and Development at UT Southwestern Medical Center, said in the release.

In 2007, just 3.2% of gastroenterology fellows were African American and 8.5% were Hispanic. Although women made up 47% of medical students in the United States, only 16% of GI fellows were women, according to the AGA.

The AGA hopes to target this lack of diversity by providing FORWARD PROGRAM participants with concrete research and leadership skills they can use to pursue careers as physician-scientists.

Seasoned veterans of the GI community will serve in mentorship roles to offer support and guide participants through the process.

The AGA will release details on the application process this fall.

Disclosures: Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease could not confirm Cryer’s relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.