The Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists recognizes the role of scholarly work in amplifying the calls of concern regarding health inequities in the Black community through the larger academic community, and in sharing thoughts on solutions towards the same. Included here are recent publications from ABGH on these topics.
Gray, Darrell M. II MD, Anyane-Yeboa, Adjoa, Issaka, Rachel B, Balzora, Sophie on behalf of ABGH. Health Equity In Focus: Introducing the Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists, The Lancet: May 2021 – Volume 6 – Issue 5 – p 348
Williams R, White PM, Balzora S. “A T.E.A.M. Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Gastroenterology and Hepatology”. Gastroenterology. 2022 Jan 21:S0016-5085(22)00035-X. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2022.01.019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35074445.
Health Disparities and Health Equity
ABGH was born out of a need to better the digestive health of Black communities. Disparities across the continuum of digestive health care — be they within chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel diseases, fatty liver disease, and others, and similarly with most gastrointestinal cancers — have persistently led to suboptimal outcomes for Black patients. We are here to work collaboratively with others in the field who are also invigorated to change this reality.
Here are some resources spotlighting health disparities within the field of gastroenterology and hepatology and strategies to help Black communities, whose members experience some of the worst health outcomes and mortality, achieve their highest health potential.
Everyday Health 9/7/20: The Wake-Up Call About Colorectal Cancer We Didn’t Want — but Need
Everyday Health 7/29/20: COVID-19 Pandemic May Worsen Colorectal Cancer Screening Disparities
Healio Gastroenterology 11/14/19: https://www.healio.com/news/gastroenterology/20191114/everyone-needs-to-see-this-will-smith-gets-a-colonoscopy
Anyane-Yeboa A, Li B, Gulotta G, Rubin D. “Black Race and Public Insurance Are Predictive of Inappropriate Evaluation of Iron Deficiency Anemia and Diarrhea.” Digestive Diseases and Sciences; 7 July 2020. PMID: 32638203.
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News 8/19/20:
Bui A, Yang L, Myint A, May FP. Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status Are Associated With Prolonged Time to Treatment After a Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer: A Large Population-Based Study. Gastroenterology. 2020 Oct 12:S0016-5085(20)35248-3. doi:
1053/j.gastro.2020.10.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33058864. https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(20)35248-3/fulltext?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fpubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2F
HEALIO opinion piece: From words to actions to change: How medicine, academia can respond to racial injustice: https://www.healio.com/news/gastroenterology/20200616/from-words-to-actions-to-change-how-academia-can-respond-to-racial-injustice-in-america
CNN Opinion piece: Chadwick Boseman’s death shed a much needed light on colorectal cancer: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/04/opinions/chadwick-boseman-colorectal-cancer-disparity-may/index.html
20/20: ABC Network. “Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute For A King” Spotlight on Colorectal Cancer. Aired: August 30, 2020
ABC Nightline News. “National Tribute to Chadwick Boseman.” Colon cancer Prevention. Aired first: September 1, 2020.
NPR print and audio series on health care disparities: https://www.kcrw.com/news/articles/why-african-americans-are-at-a-greater-risk-of-colon-cancer
Los Angeles Times interview on COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-20/coronavirus-doctors-nurses-fears-ventilator-icu-emergency
ABC News interview on cancer prevention and health disparities: https://abc7.com/colon-cancer-awareness-month-inflatable-westwood-ucla-health/5168338/
Healio News features on health disparities: https://www.healio.com/news/gastroenterology/20190926/qa-addressing-racial-disparities-in-colorectal-cancer-screening
White PM, Itzkowitz SH. Barriers Driving Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening in African Americans. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2020 Jul 9;22(8):41. doi: 10.1007/s11894-020-00776-0. PMID: 32647903.
White PM, Sahu M, Poles MA, Francois F. Colorectal cancer screening of high-risk populations: A national survey of physicians. BMC Res Notes. 2012 Jan 24;5:64. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-64. PMID: 22272666; PMCID: PMC3284403.
Williams R, White P, Nieto J, Vieira D, Francois F, Hamilton F. Colorectal Cancer in African Americans: An Update. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2016 Jul 28;7(7):e185. doi: 10.1038/ctg.2016.36. PMID: 27467183; PMCID: PMC4977418.
Issaka RB & Somsouk M. Colorectal Cancer Screening and Prevention in the COVID-19 Era. JAMA Health Forum. 2020 May.
GI & Hepatology News. 9.1.20. Pandemic worsens disparities in GI and liver disease
Association of Women Surgeons. 9.10.20. Black Patients: Enduring Disparities But Ever Resilient.
NYT. 01.11.2021. A Colonoscopy Alternative Comes Home
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer in African Americans: An Update Colorectal Cancer in African Americans: An Update
“We Need to Talk About Colon Cancer,” ESSENCE Live Wellness Check 09/02/20 https://www.facebook.com/essence/videos/308806070183174/
Will Smith’s Doctor Found a Polyp in His First Colonoscopy Video, 11/09/19 Prevention Magazine. https://www.prevention.com/health/health-conditions/a29738498/will-smith-colonoscopy-precancerous-polyp/
We Should Be Unsettled: Colorectal Cancer Incidence Rising Among 09/05/19 Young Adults, Healio Gastroenterology. – https://www.healio.com/gastroenterology/oncology/news/online/%7Be84491ea- d6d2-48fd-a29b-cd5abceffad4%7D/we-should-be-unsettled-colorectal-cancer- incidence-rising-among-young-adults
Miguel CA, Paskett ED, Fisher JL, Fickle DK, Washington CM, Degraffinreid C, Tatum C, Gray DM 2nd. (2020). Scripted guided tours through an inflatable colon: An innovative and effective educational tool in diverse communities. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2020 December 1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101248.
Balzora S, Issaka RB, Anyane-Yeboa A, Gray DM 2nd, May FP. The impact of COVID-19 on colorectal cancer disparities and the way forward. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2020 Jun 20:S0016-5107(20)34468-0. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2020.06.042. Online ahead of print.
Gray DM 2nd, Anyane-Yeboa A, Balzora S, Issaka RB, May FP. COVID-19 and the other pandemic: populations made vulnerable by systemic inequity. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2020 Jun 15:1-3. doi: 10.1038/s41575-020-0330- Online ahead of print.
Gray DM 2nd, Emerson B, Reddy M, Zimmerman BJ, Hashi A, Shoben A, Reiter PL, Katz ML. (2020). A teachable moment: Colorectal cancer screening among companions waiting for outpatients undergoing a colonoscopy. Journal of Cancer Education 2020. April 21. doi: 10.1007/s13187-020-01745-x. [Epub ahead of print]
Paskett ED, Bernardo BM, Young GS, Katz ML, Reiter PL, Tatum CM, Oliveri JM, Degraffenreid CR, Gray DM, Pearlman R and Hampel H. Comparative effectiveness of two interventions to increase colorectal cancer screening for those at increased risk based on family history: Results of a randomized trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2020; 29(1):3-9. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.
Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Representation matters. Diversity in the medical workforce has been shown to improve access to care for marginalized communities and positively influence healthcare delivery, patient outcomes, and public policy. But without greater inclusion of Black health care providers and scientists in the field of digestive diseases, we are limited in how far we can move forward in the journey to health equity.
Data from the American Academy of Medical Colleges (AAMC) shows that in 2018, only 4% of practicing gastroenterologists identified as African- American/Black.
Here are some resources focusing on ways that individuals and institutions can lead efforts to integrate inclusivity and equity in the workforce to ultimately benefit Black patients and the communities in which they live.
Anyane-Yeboa, Adjoa MD1; Balzora, Sophie MD2; Gray, Darrell M. II MD, MPH3 Improving Diversity and Inclusion in GI, The American Journal of Gastroenterology: August 2020 – Volume 115 – Issue 8 – p 1147-1149
Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News 6/17/20: Breathing While Black: Exhausted and Invigorated as an African American Gastroenterologist
Healio Gastroenterology 7/9/20: The ‘Strange Fruit’ that haunts my days and dreams as a Black physician
Healio Gastroenterology 4/30/19: ‘It matters for everyone’: ACG’s social media push promotes diversity, inclusion
Hematology/Oncology 10/14/20: Addressing racism in medicine: Experts call on colleagues to turn talk into action
Kardashian A, May FP. Empowering early career female gastroenterologists and hepatologists. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Nov;16(11):644-645. doi: 10.1038/s41575-019-0216-9. PMID: 31570808. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41575-019-0216-9?proof=t
Career Development for Students and Trainees
The journey to a career in gastrointestinal and liver diseases is a long road, and we are here to help trainees at all stages of this journey to succeed. Providing tailored tools to success, particularly for underrepresented minorities in medicine (URiMs) that are even less represented in subspeciality and procedural fields like gastroenterology and hepatology, brings us closer to our shared goal of providing the best care for the patients we serve.
Here are some resources to help strengthen your skill set and knowledge about tips and tricks that will help propel your career as you advance in your medical training. These resources include organizations for URiM trainees along with research programs from different medical societies.
Introducing Trainees to Medical Education Activities and Opportunities for Educational Scholarship https://www.mededportal.org/doi/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10554
Succeeding in Academic Medicine: A Roadmap for Diverse Medical Students and Residents Succeeding in Academic Medicine – A Roadmap for Diverse Medical Students and Residents | John P. Sánchez
Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians www.bngap.org
ACG Summer Scholars Program for Medical Students. – ACG Summer Scholars Program – Student Application
University of Miami Summer Scholars Program for high school students About | SSP | University of Miami
AACAP Jeanne Spurlock Research Fellowship in Addiction and Substance Abuse for Minority Medical Students https://www.aacap.org//aacap/awards/medical_students_awards/Spurlock_Research_Fellowship.aspx
Weill Cornell Medicine Career Advancement for Research in Health Equity (CARE T37) program CARE T37