#EAST4All - EAST Equity, Quality, and Inclusion in Trauma Surgery Practice Ad Hoc Task Force

Friday, June 22, 2018

Trauma & Acute Care Surgery is a demanding practice.
The rates of burnout and depression among attendings and their trainees seem to increase every year. When any one of us is made to feel ‘different’ and that difference is viewed negatively, this can lead to further risks to self-esteem, expression and professional development. Similarly, when early-career academic, community or military surgeons feel that barriers exist to their growth, this leads to demoralization and increases stress. When colleagues or superiors use any perceived or real power they have over us to bully, degrade, humiliate or demean, this erodes and threatens the moral basis and framework of our profession. If we engage in these behaviors either implicitly or explicitly, we also impact the kind of care we provide to our patients and families at their time of greatest need and vulnerability.

We believe that as trauma surgeons, we should all have the same opportunities for limitless professional growth, expression of ingenuity and academic development regardless of background, gender, race, social class, sexual orientation or identification, language or any perceived ‘difference’ that is viewed with hostility – subtle or overt – by others. We grow better when we support each other as a collective of trauma surgeons dedicated to improving outcomes for our patients and their communities.

With the EAST Equity, Quality, and Inclusion Ad Hoc Task Force, we propose the following, using an evidence-based, PICO framework:

  • We propose to identify and define the problem, based on feedback from our population of EAST members.
    This will be the charge of the Assessment & Research work group (year 1)
  •  We will develop and implement appropriate interventions based on our assessment of the problem, similar to what other surgical organizations have been doing nationally and globally.
    This will be the charge of the Education and Guidelines & Processes work groups (years 1-2)
  • Our control or comparison will be the status quo.
  • We propose to identify and analyze outcomes related to initiatives taken by individuals or work groups, with ongoing communication and dialogue in Plan-Study-Do-Act cycles of listening and learning.
    This will be the charge of the Mentorship, Dialogue, Empathy & Collaboration work group (years 1-3)

 As we define the problem, create interventions and learn from the outcomes, we anticipate the same culture change and growth that is occurring in other professional societies across the country, and indeed the world. As trauma surgeons, we are leaders in identifying challenges, and understanding how to overcome these, while being guided by a deep sense of justice and fairness. We are also an extremely resilient group ready to support each other, grow together and create the ideal professional atmosphere in which we may develop our limitless academic and human potential. Diversity drives excellence, let’s create an #EAST4ALL together.

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