CSAM Membership Committee Member Race/Ethnicity Report
By: Jean Marsters, MD, Membership Committee Chair
The membership Committee decided to look at race and ethnicity of our membership in 2022. The results of a Dec 22, 2022 data pull were assembled. It contained race/ethnic identification of all of our members that week. Multi-racial was not offered as a choice at that time, it is in 2023. We wanted to look at all members, and also get a sense if active members in the organization mirror the race/ethnic composition of all members. As a simple proxy for active members, we used all members listed on the CSAM website’s committee list that day. Members on committees were only counted once (people on 2 committees were only counted once). Committees not on the website were not included (such as Nominations Committee). Activities not appearing on the website such as work groups, task forces and the History Project were not included.
We compared our numbers with the California Health Care Foundation’s CA Health Care Almanac: A Quick Reference Guide March 20211 which has the racial/ethnic identification of physicians in California in 2019 and 2020 and for the state’s population.
Some of the numbers that break out:
23% of CSAM members “preferred not to answer” or gave no answer to their racial/cultural affiliation. This was a bit less than the 26% of ASAM physicians who answered the same in 2021.
Comparing all CSAM members with those listed on committees:
- White: 44% vs 52%, Asian 12% vs 11%, Hisp/Latino 8% vs 7%, AA 6% vs 2%
- Other 6% vs 3%, AmInd/Alask Nat 1% vs 0%, Nat Hawaii/Other Pac Isl ~ 0.5% vs 0%
- Prefer not to Answer 4% vs 7%
6% of Californians and members are African American, but 2% of committee members listed are.
39% of Californians are Latinx, 8% of members are and 7% of committee members listed are.
32% of CA physicians active in-patient care are AA/PI, 12% of members are Asian and 11% of committee members listed are.
33% of CA physicians active in-patient care are White, 44% of members are White and 52% of committee members listed are.
The authors of the 2022 article in J General Internal Medicine by Garcia et al: Lack of Racial and Ethnic Diversity Among Addiction Medicine Physicians on demographics of Addiction Medicine Physicians call for the development of informed efforts to diversify the addiction workforce. In order to do this, they aptly identify the need to generate accurate numbers so that gaps can be identified and changes through time can be measured.
On behalf of the Membership Committee, I presented this data to the Board on February 11th with the recommendation that the Board reviews this and other data on culture/ethnicity and develop a longitudinal action plan on diversity.