Our Commitment to Changing the Culture of Medicine and Eliminating Racial Disparities in Women's Health Outcomes
At ACOG, we recognize that it is critical to change the culture of medicine by addressing racism and implicit biases that contribute to health disparities. ACOG is committed to eliminating disparities in women’s health and to confronting implicit and explicit bias and racism. This means recognizing and examining our own prejudice and bias and addressing the way in which health care systems perpetuate inequality. It also means engaging with diverse groups of advocates to foster the communication necessary to address health disparities and promote equity in health care access and delivery. We embrace that this requires active listening and a commitment to working together.
For decades, ACOG has led the medical community in advocating for access to health care for women and adolescents. Specific to maternal mortality, ACOG continues to work with physicians, other health care professionals and community organizations to address the multiple, complex causes that have led to the untimely deaths of so many mothers in the United States. While the rates of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity in the United States are unacceptable, even more concerning is the stark racial and ethnic disparities in these outcomes. Unacceptable disparities in access to care and outcomes are not limited to the maternal health context; disparities persist across medicine including reproductive and gynecological health care. Differences in outcomes result from many factors including racism and bias in access to and delivery of quality health care.
As the nation’s leading organization of physicians dedicated to the health care of women, it is incumbent upon us to combat racism, racial bias, and achieve inclusiveness in our own professional settings, institutions, committees, councils, and leadership. We are firmly committed to doing so through concrete action and honest examination of our own practices and biases.
We strongly encourage all health care professionals and medical organizations to join us.