SAGES climate survey: results and strategic planning for our future



While SAGES prides itself on diversity and inclusivity, we also recognize that as an organization we are not impervious to blind spots impacting equity within the membership. To address this, the We R Sages task force was formed to identify the barriers and facilitators to creating a diverse organization and develop a strategic plan for the implementation of programing and opportunities that promote diversity and inclusivity within our membership. As the first step in the process, a survey was administered to gauge the current organizational climate.


In September of 2017, a validated climate survey was administered to 704 SAGES committee members via SurveyMonkey®. Climate was assessed on: overall SAGES experience, consideration of leaving the organization, mentorship within the organization, resources and opportunities within the organization, and attitudes and experiences within the organization. Additional free text responses were encouraged to generate qualitative themes.


The survey response rate was 52.1% (n = 367). Respondent self-identified demographics were: male (73%), white (63%), heterosexual (95.5%), and non-disabled (98%). Average overall satisfaction was 8.1/10. 12.5% of respondents had considered leaving the organization and 74.4% had not identified a formal mentor within the organization. Average agreement with equitable distribution of resources and opportunities was 5.8/10. 93.6% of respondents had not experienced bias within the organization.


Overall SAGES has a very positive climate; however, several key issues were identified from the quantitative survey as well as the free text responses. Strategic planning to address issues of membership recruitment, committee engagement, advancement transparency, diversity awareness, leadership development, and formal mentorship are being implemented.

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WRS Task Force Abier Abdelnaby MD, Maria S. Altieri MD MS, Michael Cahalane MD, Jimmy Chung MD, Myriam Curet MD, Shaun Daly MD, Justin B. Dimick MD MPH, Evelyn Dorado Alban MD, Ross Goldberg MD, Caitlin Halbert DO, Farah Husain MD, Hope Jackson MD, Shaneeta Johnson MD, Jason Keune MD MBA, Mary Klingensmith MD, Anne Lidor MD MPH, Henry Lin MD, Brent Matthews MD, John Paige MD, Yagnik Pandya MD, Ruchir Puri MD, KMarie Reid MD, Arghavan Salles MD PhD, Joon Shim MD, Ian Soriano MD, Steven Stain MD, Patricia Sylla MD, Sivamainthan Vithiananthan MD, and Yusuke Watanabe MD.

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Correspondence to Dana A. Telem.

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Dr. Dana Telem is a consultant for Medtronic. Dr. Daniel Jones is on the scientific advisory board of Allurion intragastric balloon. Drs. Edwards and Qureshi have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Telem, D.A., Qureshi, A., Edwards, M. et al. SAGES climate survey: results and strategic planning for our future. Surg Endosc 32, 4105–4110 (2018).

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  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Unconscious bias
  • Surgery
  • Minimally invasive
  • Climate