Career Development and Increasing Diversity in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Project: Research project

Project Details


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The current proposal aims to support a diversity-focused workshop at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) in May 2015. This will be a continuation of a series of annual workshops organized by the Diversity Subcommittee of the ASPHO Professional Development Committee. These diversity-oriented workshops have received NIH R13 grant support (NCI/NHLBI) for 4 of the past 5 years. We hypothesize that the longitudinal effects of these workshops serve to increase awareness of the multifaceted and complex goals of increasing diversity and facilitating advancement of under- represented individuals in our field. We propose to capitalize on these achievements by continuing this workshop series while adding to a mentorship component designed to foster a strong interest in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology among junior trainees with diverse backgrounds. A demographic survey among ASPHO members in 2010 revealed significant ethnic disparities in ASPHO membership, consistent with known trends of under-representation of ethnic minorities in medicine as a whole. Anecdotally, there appears to be a significant lack of African American, Hispanic, and other ethnic representation in ASPHO leadership positions. This is partially reflective of the general ASPHO membership, and it is likely representative of the larger field of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. We hypothesize that these disparities can be reduced over time through a combination of educational programs aimed at increasing cultural awareness among existing ASPHO members and direct mentoring of under-represented medical students and uncommitted residents (i.e., not matched to a subspecialty fellowship) in order to increase the likelihood that they choose to enter Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and aspire to leadership roles. The theme of our 2015 workshop will be Strategies for Increasing Workforce Diversity in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. This workshop will be open to all ASPHO conference attendees and will include: (i) a brief annual business meeting for the ASPHO Diversity Special Interest Group, (ii) a keynote address from a leader in ASPHO workforce data collection and analysis, and (iii) an intensive attendee-driven networking exercise to identify diversity-related gaps in existing workforce data and generate recommendations for optimizing the collection and accuracy of this data in future ASPHO workforce surveys. A key component of this year's workshop will be the expansion of trainee travel awards to include sponsorship of not only fellowship trainees with diverse backgrounds, but also under-represented junior trainees (medical students and residents) who will be paired with faculty guides. These guides will ensure that the sponsored trainees are able to optimize their conference experience and provide a point-of-contact and mentorship within the field of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology as they begin to make career development plans well after the conference concludes.
StatusNot started


  • National Cancer Institute


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