Equity and Diversity within the Western Section AUA
By: Siamak Daneshmand, MD; Jeannie DeSantis, MBA | Posted on: 01 Apr 2022
The Western Section AUA (WSAUA) has long recognized the importance of diversity within our academic organization and has always been transparent and proactive in fostering an inclusive environment.
The WSAUA organization at large relies on the 20 inclusive urological teaching institutions to guide us in recruiting new faculty and residents to include in programming and leadership roles. Whether at program meetings or board meetings, it has always been important to WSAUA leadership to include a wide spectrum of physician leaders from all teaching institutions with specific attention to include individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.
Diversity, equity and inclusion were prominent topics at our recent Western Section program meeting with representation from the diverse board of directors. As an example, the WSAUA has supported the funding of the Summer Medical Student Scholarship Program for Underrepresented Researchers.
Women in urology have been a prominent part of the culture of the Western Section (which includes several women within its own executive leadership). Within the WSAUA, many women serve in leadership roles, speak on the program and serve on various committees representing a mix of all the Western Section’s urological departments. Past President Dr. John Prince eagerly nominated Dr. Eila Skinner for the 2021 Distinguished Member award, and Dr. Kathleen Kobashi is the immediate Past President of our society. For nomination of AUA awards, we always emphasize diversity when encouraging members to nominate candidates.
We are supportive of the steps the AUA is taking to address the current inequality challenges within urology. We will continue efforts to enhance diversity and include individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds in meetings and leadership roles.