Title

Diversity in Oncology Initiative

Diversity Strategy

ASCO released a landmark strategic plan to guide future efforts for increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the oncology workforce. The ultimate goal is to develop a workforce that provides high-quality cancer care to racial and ethnic populations who experience persistent disparities in access to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment—and poorer health outcomes. The ASCO Strategic Plan for Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Oncology Workforce has three primary goals:

  1. Establish a longitudinal pathway for increasing workforce diversity
  2. Enhance ASCO leadership diversity, and
  3. Integrate a focus on diversity across ASCO programs and policies.

The plan outlines specific objectives, such as improving and expanding mentoring opportunities and career development for oncologists and trainees from populations that are underrepresented in medicine (URM); assessing policy solutions that could increase the proportion of oncologists who are URM; and increasing racial/ethnic diversity among ASCO leadership.

The strategic plan will guide ASCO’s overall workforce diversity efforts and build on existing programs, including ASCO’s Diversity in Oncology Initiative. This program offers, through the Conquer Cancer Foundation, two award opportunities for medical students and residents who are underrepresented in oncology:

  1. Medical Student Rotation for Underrepresented Populations, which supports an oncology rotation and pairs medical students with clinical oncologists who provide ongoing academic and career guidance.
  2. Resident Travel Award for Underrepresented Populations, which provides financial support to medical residents to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting.

Random Quote

"Precision medicine has begun to transform the lives of many patients with cancer, but its application in clinical practice is enormously complex. ASCO hopes to contribute to and advance the field by providing oncologists with the training, tools, and data they need."
Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO
ASCO Chief Medical Officer