DEI at the Annual Meeting

ASTRO is working to expand its initiatives and education about diversity, health equity, inclusion in health care. This year a new track dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion has been added to the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting educational sessions as well as the science program in order to provide a well-rounded annual meeting experience while expanding professionals on their social awareness on DEI within radiation oncology. See below for the DEI sessions and Oral Abstracts available to registrants of the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting.

Educational Sessions on DEI

Physician Driven Social Change: A Historical Perspective and Opportunities for Radiation Oncologists

Sunday, October 24, 2021 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Location TBD

The moderators will introduce the topic, and provide a philosophical perspective on the ethics of contributing towards the health of the community as much as the individual patient. A historical perspective will be provided on how individual doctors and the medical profession at-large have helped reduce health disparities in the past, through research, and translation of that research into advocacy and action on the national stage. The important role of health insurance as a determinant of health outcomes in the United States, and why physician groups like the AMA have opposed a single payer healthcare system for decades, will also be discussed. The panel will describe a number of realistic pathways by which radiation oncologists can help reduce cancer health disparities through research, working with organizations/movements on a national level and creating an equitable and inclusive culture within one’s own department or individual practice. Finally, the panel will discuss what organizations such as ASTRO, AACR, ASCO and the NCI are doing to promote physician workforce diversity and reduced health disparities, and how to effectively translate committee work into meaningful action.

Moderator: Gita Suneja, MD, MS, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, University of Utah

  • Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • C. Norman Coleman, MD, FASTRO, National Cancer Institute
  • Brandon A. Mahal, MD, University of Miami
  • Vonetta Michelle Williams, MD, PhD, University of Washington, Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Malika L Siker, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin

Mitigating Bias in Recruitment: Attracting a Diverse, Dynamic Workforce to Sustain the Future of Radiation Oncology

Monday, October 25, 2021 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Location TBD

We face many challenges in hiring and recruiting for radiation oncology. We have exceptional candidates to choose from, however, radiation oncology still suffers from a lack of diversity. The recruitment process is prone to affinity bias and compensation fallacy, as well as racial and gender biases reinforced by relying on traditional academic metrics. This session will discuss what practices need to decide before they recruit: the concepts of organizational culture, “great by choice”, and the practice’s core values/attributes. We will review the sources of bias from candidate submitted materials as well as those sources from those of us doing recruiting. We will discuss the development of recruitment materials, the process of holistic review, how to structure the interview day, and how to structure the interview itself in order to mitigate bias and compare candidates as equitably as possible. We will hear about the University of Michigan experience with the Committee on Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE), which is broadly applicable to both faculty and trainee recruitment. We will hear from academic radiation oncology and medical physics programs. Attendees will leave with concrete knowledge that can be used to improve their recruitment practices.

Moderator: Suzanne B. Evans, MD, Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine

  • Daniel W. Golden, MD, MHPE, Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago Medical Centert
  • Derek W. Brown, PhD, University of California, San Diego
  • Chelsea C. Pinnix, MD, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Titania Juang, PhD, University of California, San Diego
  • Reshma Jagsi, MD, PhD, FASTRO, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan

Creating Equitable and Inclusive Spaces for Black, Indigenous and Latinx Trainees, Residents and Faculty: Opportunities and Pathways

Monday, October 25, 2021 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Location TBD

A gap exists in the representation of Black, Latinx and Indigenous people in radiation oncology with recently published evidence even noting a statistically significant gap in U.S. vs RO representation in faculty and residents. Evidence has shown that Black and Latinx physicians are more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to practice in underserved communities and treat uninsured patients. Multiple sources note Black researchers are significantly less likely to obtain NIH funding than white counterparts, due in part to topic proposed by applicant. This session’s goal is to ultimately increase equitable representation of Black, Latinx and Indigenous (URM) physicians in radiation oncology by providing practical knowledge for trainees and decision-makers (such as chairs) for successful career pathways. Through the speakers, attendees will become familiar with the opportunities available for increased recruitment of Black, Latinx and Indigenous applicants through leveraging connections between the majority of radiation oncology academic centers which are Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Speakers will also discuss opportunities available for medical students to encourage URM applicants with mentored exposure to radiation oncology, research funding opportunities available to residents and young faculty, as well as NCI and NIMHD opportunities for URMs as well.

Moderator: Raymond Mailhot Vega, MD, MPH, University of Florida

  • Kekoa Teparra, MD PhD, Stanford University
  • Oluwadamilola Oladeru, MD, Harvard University
  • Christina H. Chapman, MD, MS, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan and Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System
  • Folakemi Odedina, PhD, University of Florida
  • Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Science Program on DEI


DEIH Posters

Don't miss out on the Poster Hall this year, which features over 40 posters on diversity, equity and inclusion in health care (DEIH). This year there will be a Poster Viewing Q&A Session for all DEIH Posters on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Join poster presenters on this session and ask all questions related to their DEIH research.

Oral Abstracts on DEIH

Below is a list of oral abstracts on DEIH that will be featured at the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting. These abstracts will be featured during, one or all, of the following sessions:

  • Science Highlights 2 -DEIH
    Monday, October 25, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
  • Oral Session 75 - SS 08 - DEIH 1 - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Health Care
    Monday, October 25, 2021 | 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Featured Oral Abstracts:

Subcategory - Health Disparities and Access to Care

  • Abstract Title: Overall Survival from a Prospective Multi-Institutional Trial to Resolve Black-White Disparities in the Treatment of Early Stage Breast and Lung Cancer
    Presenting Author: Matthew Manning, MD, FASTRO, Cone Health

  • Abstract Title: Radiotherapy Deserts: Impact of Race, Poverty, and the Rural-Urban Continuum on Density of Radiation Oncologists in the United States
    Presenting Author: Anna LaVigne, MD, Johns Hopkins University

Subcategory - Health Systems and Access

  • Abstract Title: Techno-economic Feasibility Analysis of a Fully-Mobile Radiation Oncology System using Monte Carlo Simulation
    Presenting Author: Alex Price, MD, Washington University

Subcategory - Workforce and/or Workforce Disparities

  • Abstract Title: Incidence of Burnout Among Female and Minority Faculty in Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology
    Presenting Author: Bismarck Odei, MD, James Cancer Hospital - Solove Research Institute

  • Abstract Title:Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Targeted One-Week Virtual Radiation Oncology Intensive Shadowing Experience for Medical Students Underrepresented in Medicine: Mentor’s Perspective
    Presenting Author: Idalid Franco, MD, MPH, Harvard Radiation Program

  • Abstract Title:The impact of the ASTRO Aspiring Scientists and Physicians program (ASPP) on diverse STEM students’ perception of radiation oncology
    Presenting Author: Vonetta Michelle Williams, MD, PhD, University of Washington

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