The ACEP Council, the College’s governing body, meets every year to discuss and vote on resolutions affecting emergency physicians.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 40 – No 12 – December 2021
Any member can submit a resolution, but it must be in writing at least 90 days prior to the ACEP Scientific Assembly and be supported by at least one other ACEP member. If adopted, the resolutions become official ACEP policy.
This year at ACEP21 in Boston, the Council received a record 82 proposed resolutions. This was a big jump from only 58 resolutions considered in 2020 and 60 considered in 2019. Of the resolutions the Council considered this year, 56 were adopted, 15 were not adopted, 10 were referred to the Board of Directors, and one was referred to the Council Steering Committee.
Our editorial staff closely tracked a few of this year’s resolutions due to their interest and impact on emergency physicians.
Resolution 22: Expanding Diversity and Inclusion in Educational Programs
Adopted by the Council, Resolution 22 requires ACEP to survey its speakers and educational presenters and report on their demographics. The resolution also calls for ACEP to set guidelines for its educational content to include material on diversity, inclusion, and health care disparities as well as to ensure panel members come from diverse backgrounds.
The New York Chapter submitted this resolution, which noted, “differences in care and diagnosis related to age, gender, identity, race, culture, sexual orientation, physical disability/limitation, ethnicity and social status are classically understudied and taught.”
The ACEP Education Committee has an ongoing objective to increase faculty diversity and to create programs that cover topics such as implicit bias and microaggressions in the setting of emergency medicine, according to background information prepared by Debbie Smithey, CMP, CAE, educational meetings director. In addition, the Educational Meetings Subcommittee has a strategy to increase diversity of speakers at ACEP meetings. Currently, ACEP members aren’t required to report their ethnicity data, and that creates difficulty for meeting organizers who look to the membership database for speakers, as they must then do additional research to identify the ethnicity of speakers, according to the notes in the proposed resolution.
Dara Kass, MD, associate clinical professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, was not involved in the resolution but supports the College’s effort to improve the diversity of its panelists. “Any time you deviate from the standard—which is historically white, male, able-bodied, and heterosexual—and decide you want to diversify, it takes effort,” she said.
Dr. Kass is the founder of FemInEM, an organization that seeks to support the advancement of women working in emergency medicine. The organization created a speakers bureau to help conference planners find expert speakers from underrepresented groups.
When organizing a meeting panel, the first step is to know who is speaking, which is not always apparent by name or surface-level demographic information, according to Dr. Kass. For its programs, FemInEM creates demographic spreadsheets and aims for its panels to represent a wide swath of the population.