Skip to main page content

Representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) within leadership roles in ophthalmology in Canada

My Session Status

Paper Presentation | Présentation d'article
4:15 PM, Friday 16 Jun 2023 (5 minutes)
Québec City Convention Centre - Room 308 B | Salle 308 B

Authors: Nadine Cheffi1, Sukhmeet Oshan2, Adil Bhatti3. 1University of Ottawa, 2University of Waterloo, 3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.   

Author Disclosures: Nadine Cheffi: None   Sukhmeet Oshan: None   Adil Bhatti: None  

Abstract Body:

Purpose: There is a lack of demographic data and objective means to assess the growth of equity, diversity and inclusion and BIPOC representation within ophthalmology. Studies have demonstrated that BIPOC receive fewer opportunities to advance their careers and subsequently represent a small proportion of senior positions. Leadership roles in academia, such as involvement at national conferences, play a crucial role in promoting the progression of a physician’s career. The objective of this study was to evaluate the representation of BIPOC over a 19‐year period at the Canadian Ophthalmology Society (COS) annual meeting, the largest educational gathering of ophthalmic professionals in Canada.   

Study Design:   A cross‐sectional study using COS annual meeting programs from 2003 ‐ 2022.   

Methods:   Data from online program schedules between 2003 ‐ 2022 was obtained, except 2005 and 2011 due to incomplete programs. Data was extracted for the following variables and classified according to race: oral presentation, free workshop, skills transfer course, committee member, moderator, keynote, and panelist. Note that race was classified based on author name, description, and images as well as an exhaustive search of social media pages, institutional pages, and other online materials. The percentage of BIPOC in each year was calculated and trended for each category. Calculations were completed for both the total conference spots filled as well as with representation based on unique individuals.   

Results:   From 2003‐2022, the total percentage of BIPOC involved in any of the seven conference positions demonstrated a positive trend. Over 19 years, there was a 30.43% increase in BIPOC filling these positions (21.89% to 52.32%), with an average increase of 1.75% per year. Noted was the repetition of BIPOC filling multiple roles each year. After excluding duplicates and examining unique BIPOC in these positions, there was a 28.65% increase (22.06% to 50.71%), with an average of 1.43% increase per year. An increase in representation amongst all categories was observed, with the most significant represented category being skills transfer course instructors at 53.26%. BIPOC committee members were noted as the most underrepresented category with a total of 35.17% over the 19 years.   

Conclusions:   This study examines the representation of BIPOC in leadership positions at the largest ophthalmological meeting in Canada. While they are still underrepresented, the representation of BIPOC at COS has improved significantly from 2003 to 2022. Continuous analysis and awareness of the representation of BIPOC in leadership positions such as at COS will aid in limiting racial disparities in ophthalmology. 

My Session Status

Send Feedback

Session detail
Allows attendees to send short textual feedback to the organizer for a session. This is only sent to the organizer and not the speakers.
To respect data privacy rules, this option only displays profiles of attendees who have chosen to share their profile information publicly.

Changes here will affect all session detail pages