June 12, 2020 - Board Director News

ABPMR Commitment to Racial Diversity and Equity

The mission of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) is to protect the public by improving the quality of patient care in PM&R — for all.

Now more than ever, we affirm our commitment to high-quality health care for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, acknowledging the wide body of research demonstrating that these patients experience consistently poorer outcomes, lack of access to care, and other health care disparities when compared to their white counterparts. This inequity is unacceptable.

Furthermore, the ABPMR is to committed fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of board activities. Knowing the importance of representation, we are specifically aiming to increase the diversity of our volunteers and board directors over the next several years.

Because statements of commitment and affirmation are not enough, we also acknowledge the work ahead of us to translate this commitment into action. Over the last several years, the ABPMR has:

  • Mandated implicit bias training for oral examiners (required every three years)
  • Modified the Examination Volunteer Policy to remove exam performance percentile rankings and standardize requirements across all exam volunteer roles
  • Standardized volunteer term limits to promote timely onboarding of new volunteers

Over the next year:

  • The ABPMR Board of Directors will develop an action plan to increase the racial diversity of our volunteers and board directors.
  • The ABPMR will continue to communicate progress on this initiative as we thoughtfully work to eliminate racial disparities for the good of all.

Black ABPMR volunteers matter. Black patients matter. Black lives matter. The ABPMR is committed to equal access to quality health care for all, and working toward eliminating racism that impacts our organization, our health care system, and our communities.