E4811. Pioneering Diversity and Inclusion in Radiology: A New Taskforce Initiative
  1. Sungmee Park- ; University of California, Irvine
  2. Murad Aldoghmi;; University of California, Irvine
  3. Clifford Danza-; ; University of California, Irvine
  4. Jeanette Meraz;; University of California, Irvine
  5. Diana Aguilar;; University of California, Irvine
  6. Natalie Llauro-; ; University of California, Irvine
  7. Roozbeh Houshyar;; University of California, Irvine
The importance of diversity has gained growing attention within medical and academic establishments. Nonetheless, when it comes to the representation of women and minority populations, radiology is one of the least diverse nonsurgical specialties. Despite progress in representation among general medical school matriculants, radiology applicants from these populations have remained largely unchanged. A student-driven grassroots taskforce at our institution, called Radiology Outreach and Diversity Initiative (RODI), was established with the mission of promoting awareness and interest in radiology to underserved and underrepresented communities. Survey data were collected from RODI outreach events to assess effectiveness.

Materials and Methods:
Since 2022, RODI has hosted online presentations and question-and-answer outreach events introducing medicine, radiology, and clinical research to over 170 students. Events were advertised to high school and undergraduate students from underrepresented communities through outreach to career counsellors and local educators at institutions in underserved areas. Data from participants were collected through surveys before and after the session. The pre survey consisted of questions regarding attendee demographics, career interests, perceived career obstacles, and basic understanding of radiology. The post survey consisted of questions measuring changes in understanding and interest in radiology. A numerical value was assigned to each survey answer choice (5 = very good; 4 = good; 3 = neutral; 2 = low; 1 = very low). Online surveys were conducted, and a student’s t-test assuming unequal variances was used for statistical analysis.

Demographics of survey respondents were 73% women, 24% men, 3% other; 71% Hispanic, 44% other, 27% Asian, 22% White, 5% Black, 2% Pacific Islander, and < 1% American Indian. There were statistically significant mean positive increases after the session for all questions pertaining to interest and confidence for a career in radiology.

Our results show that RODI's outreach events have the potential to be an effective tool for cultivating interest in and comprehension of both medicine and radiology, particularly among demographic groups that have historically been underrepresented in the medical field. Of note, smaller statistical gains were seen in questions regarding whether students would consider a career in medicine or radiology. This suggests that long-term interventions, such as additional lectures or opportunities for shadowing and seminars, may help students from these communities pursue radiology by increasing their exposure to the field and strengthening mentorship bonds. It is important to acknowledge certain limitations inherent in RODI's grassroots events, including the need for additional funding to expand outreach and to establish mechanisms for longitudinal follow-up with attendees to track impact on career outcomes.