“When you can see obstacles for what they are, you never lose faith in the path it takes to get you where you want to go. Because this I know for sure: who you’re meant to be evolves from where you are right now. So learning to appreciate your lessons, mistakes, and setbacks as stepping stones to the future is a clear sign you are moving in the right direction.”
—Oprah Winfrey, What I Know for Sure
Continuous learning and growth towards the future are essential for individuals and organizations. As a professional society, SGIM is no exception. In this issue of SGIM Forum, SGIM President Monica Lypson announces the society’s plans for embedding anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of society activities and structures. This plan and its detailed recommendations from the SGIM Executive Committee’s DEI Workgroup offer a detailed roadmap forward for our membership.
The SGIM Forum Editor team is committed to advancing DEI in accordance with the DEI Workgroup recommendations. In spring 2020, SGIM Forum examined the diversity of our Associate Editor (AE) team. In parallel, steps to retain and recruit talent to address known disparities were already in progress: last year, our Editor team welcomed two inaugural associate member AEs and the SGIM Forum immediate past Editor in Chief as an emeritus member. Additionally, AE liaisons serve as official representatives of SGIM Forum to committees and commissions, offering bidirectional links between each group. SGIM Forum AE liaisons and AEs who are actively engaged in a variety of SGIM activities are invaluable to growing these collaborations. Without their engagement across the society and in SGIM Forum, this newsletter would not be the platform for thoughtful and critical society communications that it has become.
Sustaining and building new collaborative relationships with SGIM commissions, committees, groups, and regions also offer the following opportunities for growth and inclusive engagement:
- Health Equity Commission and SGIM Forum teamed up to publish the September 2020 theme issue on Systemic Racism and Medicine;1
- The 2021 Mid-Atlantic Regional Annual Meeting planning committee and SGIM Forum teamed up to publish top-ranked Arts & Humanities submissions from trainees who presented their work at their regional meeting in October 2021;2, 3, 4
- This issue features a new SGIM Forum Department in collaboration with the Ethics Committee: “Ask an Ethicist” addresses common and important ethical questions faced by general internists. To Ask an Ethicist, members are encouraged to contact the Ethics Committee with their questions that can be addressed in future articles.
Each of these collaborations have been rewarding community-learning opportunities. I look forward to seeing more strong and long-lasting bonds within SGIM in the future. Nevertheless, SGIM Forum can continuously learn, within and alongside SGIM and its constituent groups and members. Together, we strive to improve and grow to be more anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive, in accordance to the mission and vision before us. In the words of Monica Lypson, SGIM President, “The SGIM community must continue to learn from history...so that we can change our future for the better.”5
Members are welcome to e-mail me with comments, ideas, and questions.