The Board of Directors of the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) shares the outrage at the horrific deaths of Mr. George Floyd, Ms. Breonna Taylor, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other African American and Black men and women, in long succession. These events once again bring stark awareness to the prevalence of individual, systemic, structural, and institutional racism and their impact on African Americans and Blacks as well as other racial and ethnic minority and other underrepresented communities throughout history. These effects are visible not just in policing, but in medical education, medical research, and healthcare and health system disparities as well. Awareness without action, however, does not lead to meaningful change and, ultimately, equality.
The mission of FAER is to develop the next generation of physician-scientists in anesthesiology. Thus, we must ensure equitable opportunities for the next generation. The FAER Board commits to doing the hard work required to take meaningful action to promote diversity within FAER leadership and among the aspiring physician-scientists we fund, and to identify opportunities to foster individuals and research focused on reducing healthcare disparities.
The FAER Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force reviewed the diversity of the organization, grantees, and funded research, including proposal success, and then interviewed leaders of comparable organizations to identify successful approaches. Recommendations for specific actions will be presented to the FAER Board in October. Targeted areas include continued and expanded data collection to facilitate development of goals and tracking of milestones related to the organization, grantees, and funding priorities; identification of successful strategies that have worked for similar organizations that might be implemented by FAER that would accelerate efforts to increase the diversity of physician-scientists in anesthesiology.
In the meantime, you can learn more about disparities, inequities, and barriers in healthcare, medical education, and medical research and find resources for evidence-based approaches to taking action to reduce bias, racism, and inequities in medical science here.