2018 Annual Meeting Inclusion Statement

SMDM fosters an environment that embraces inclusion of all people, and we look forward to the collegial and respectful atmosphere and intellectual, thoughtful engagement that is typical of SMDM meetings.

Evidence of this year’s commitment to inclusion is shown in the theme (“Decision Making Across the Lifespan”), a leadership team of two scientists and two patient/caregivers, patients and caregivers as speakers and attendees, a special symposium on Indigenous ways of health decision making, an opening statement by an Indigenous Elder, and invited speakers whose excellence reflects the community of scholars in the field of medical decision making. These initiatives to improve SMDM’s inclusivity—and thus, our sustainability as a Society—coincide with renewed attention to issues of discrimination and injustice.

Following this year’s North American meeting, SMDM will carefully establish formal meeting policies that embrace inclusion and prevent discrimination of all kinds. Please feel free to discuss these issues with others to ensure continued inclusive and robust scientific conversations in a supportive meeting environment. The SMDM Executive Committee welcomes member input to inform the future formal SMDM policy in this area. Please send any comments to info@smdm.org by November 1, 2018.


Of special note, SMDM’s meeting in Montreal/Tiohtiá:ke takes place on the traditional and unceded (i.e., not surrendered) territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) Nation. Tiohtiá:ke has long been a place of exchange and meeting. In recognition of the 94 Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, SMDM’s meeting aims to support respectful relationships between institutions (universities, health care organizations, governments) and Indigenous communities, with a particular focus on the responsibilities of health care organizations and academic institutions to better educate their members and include people from local communities in a “good way”.

1) Doing things "in a good way" is an expression that is meaningful in Indigenous communities and denotes “participation that honors tradition and spirit.” (Flicker, S. et al. Research Done in ‘A Good Way’: The Importance of Indigenous Elder Involvement in HIV Community-Based Research. Am. J. Public Health 105, 1149–1154 (2015) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4431085/

2) http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

3) https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24994/sexual-harassment-of-women-climate-culture-and-consequences-in-academic