The ABIM Physician Portal will support expanded options to allow diplomates to self-identify their gender, race and ethnicity. We heard clearly in conversations with our specialty boards and with diplomates that being able to self-identify accurately is vital—so we are providing more detailed options that are available on forms like the U.S. Census. For example, rather than identifying as “Asian,” diplomates who choose to do so will be able to select “Central Asian,” “East Asian,” “Southeast Asian” or “South Asian.”
The initiative follows several listening sessions with physicians who provided guidance on what identifiers for gender, race and ethnicity should be included on the Portal. Updating personal information is completely voluntary and will be used to add to the already rigorous work ABIM does to evaluate our assessments for fairness.
The additional information will allow ABIM to monitor each of our assessment items for fairness and eliminate or revise those found to be unfair.
“I’m glad to see ABIM implementing a self-describing option as a small effort to be more inclusive,” said Andrea Seiffertt, DO, who is certified in internal medicine. “If doctors are able to identify as closer to their full nuanced selves within their leadership organizations when they feel safe to do so, it helps change the wider culture, bringing more awareness and more acceptance for both doctors and our patients. I hope more professional organizations can do the same with their members.”
Additionally, collecting this information could help ABIM to have a deeper understanding of the internal medicine community, which can be used to make sure that our conversations are as inclusive as possible.