Sessions on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Abound at RSNA 2023

Attendees are encouraged to select DE&I sessions to learn how to improve patient outcomes and build an inclusive specialty

Maureen Kohi, MD
Efren Flores

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are indispensable pillars in the field of medicine and are vital to ensuring that health care systems provide high-quality care to all individuals, regardless of their background, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or any other characteristic. These principles are also important in building a supportive and inclusive culture in the radiology workforce.

RSNA’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CDEI) has worked diligently to propose and create educational content for RSNA 2023 that will benefit members in all career levels, from trainees to established leaders.


“The RSNA CDEI has worked on a variety of exciting initiatives this past year and have developed three work groups in order to expand our footprint in the Society and among the membership,” said CDEI chair, Maureen Kohi, MD, Ernest H. Wood Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The first work group is focused on building and expanding a professional network, which will have an in-person networking event at RSNA 2023 on Monday, Nov 27. Open to all RSNA attendees, this informal networking event will allow CDEI members to connect with meeting attendees interested in promoting diversity, advocacy and allyship in radiology.


The second work group provides exposure to radiology and radiology-related careers in collaboration with under-represented in medicine organizations and societies. The group is in the initial stages of collaborating with local Chicago partners to introduce radiology to high school students. A cohort from the I AM ABEL Foundation, ( a local Chicago nonprofit, will attend RSNA 2023, tour exhibits and learn about radiology.


The third work group will focus on training, publishing, research and education by working with RSNA education staff to update the RSNA Unconscious Bias Training course, with an emphasis in identifying potential bias when serving in an RSNA volunteer capacity. The course is a requirement for all RSNA committee chairs and vice chairs and volunteers serving in a selection or review capacity.


“CDEI is excited for the opportunity to build pathway programs with nearby and regional medical schools and create opportunities for women and URM medical students to rotate on the radiology service and experience the specialty in the preclinical or early clinical years,” Dr. Kohi said. “Every single member can help change the makeup of our specialty by encouraging talented students to consider the field. These efforts are vital so that our specialty can reflect the diverse group of patients we care for.”


The RSNA Health Equity Committee (HEC) has been focused on increasing the presence of health equity educational and research content at the RSNA annual meeting.


“One of the goals of this committee is to advance the knowledge in health disparities and health equity and share best practices while building a community of radiologists leading these efforts,” said Efren J. Flores, MD, co-chair of the HEC and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and Mass General Brigham Radiology vice chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, both in Boston. “We are pleased to see the substantial increase in educational sessions, exhibits, and scientific projects related to health equity that will be presented at the upcoming annual meeting.”


The committee has also been focused on employing a grassroots approach to establishing longitudinal relationships and trust with local non-profit community organizations. During last year’s annual meeting, the committee met with the leadership of Chicago’s Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), which led to RSNA sponsorship of their “Walk with a Doc” initiative. A local radiologist who is an incoming member of the Health Equity committee, has been participating in these events.


SWOP leadership will present in a community engagement panel session at RSNA 2023 and assist in a sold-out community service event during the meeting. Participants will assemble winter kits to be distributed through two Chicago-based organizations serving the unhoused.


“This longitudinal engagement underscores our commitment to build authentic and long-lasting relationships,” Dr. Flores said. “The growing number of projects and health equity related initiatives underscore RSNA’s commitment to advancing health equity. We hope these initiatives and programs will empower the next generation to collaborate with others to address health disparities, get engaged in community outreach in partnership with community organizations, and seek training in health services research that will build the sustainability needed or permanent change.”


For More Information

Find the RSNA 2023 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Health Equity sessions

Learn more about RSNA’s Health Equity Resources

Learn more about RSNA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


Read previous RSNA News stories on diversity in radiology and health equity: