Member Engagement

Learn About AAN Diversity Initiatives

The AAN recognizes the importance of reflecting the demographics of its members and the patients they serve. To promote greater diversity and inclusion, the AAN has developed a diversification strategy to engage AAN members from underrepresented groups.  

AAN Initiatives

Diversity Officers Workgroup: This group was created to support the needs of Diversity Officers in Academic Departments of Neurology. It is part of the AAN’s Academic Initiative. This group works to identify the needs of Diversity Officers in academic neurology departments and helps the AAN to develop tools and resources to promote greater gender, racial and ethnic diversity in neurology departments.

Diversity Leadership Subcommittee: This is a subcommittee of the Leadership Development Committee that is responsible for the Diversity Leadership Program (DLP). The DLP aims to identify AAN members with leadership potential who are from underrepresented minority groups, help them develop leadership skills, and promote their engagement with the Academy. The subcommittee sets the eligibility and grading criteria, reviews the applications and selects the participants of the program.

Medical Student Diversity Subcommittee: This is a subcommittee of the Leadership Development Committee reporting to the Diversity Leadership Subcommittee. It develops and implements the three-pronged Medical Student Diversity Program (MSDP). The MSDP was created to give medical students from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to attend educational and scientific programs of the AAN and to network with neurologists and neuroscientists. The subcommittee sets program eligibility criteria, reviews applications and selects the awardees. The program has three components:

  • Medical Student Diversity Scholarship: Provides travel and lodging funds for students to attend the AAN Annual Meeting.
  • Visiting Medical Student Diversity Scholarship: Funds third- and fourth-year medical students to do a rotation at a neurology program beyond their medical school.
  • Visiting Professor Diversity Program: Funds a neurology professor to visit medical schools with large numbers of minority students and small departments of neurology and neuroscience to give Grand Rounds and talks to medical students, lead discussions about careers in neurology and the neurosciences, and participate in neurology clinical rounds.

Leadership for Women Subcommittee: This is a subcommittee of the Leadership Development Committee responsible for the development and implementation of the Women Leading in Neurology Program. The subcommittee sets the eligibility and grading criteria, reviews the applications and selects the participants of the program. This subcommittee also develops and implements additional Annual Meeting and regional programming focusing on women in leadership.

Spanish-language Workgroup: To foster greater participation and engagement by Latin American and other Spanish-speaking neurologists at the Annual Meeting, this year the AAN will offer several programs in Spanish at the Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA. The program was organized by members of the Spanish-language workgroup and includes four therapeutic update courses, two scientific update sessions and several talks at the experiential learning area. The members of the workgroup are also working with the organizers of the Brain Health Fair, the Academy’s public outreach event, to develop programs in Spanish for the local community.

Healthcare Disparities Taskforce: An AAN presidential taskforce was created to develop strategies to further our understanding of health care disparities for patients with neurological conditions. The taskforce will develop recommendations to help the AAN identify disparities and understand their possible causes and recommend interventions to address these disparities and professional awareness about them. The task force is exploring the use of Axon Registry® data, the role of a diverse neurology pipeline, and educational and systems approaches a means to reduce disparities.

Gender Disparities Taskforce: An AAN presidential taskforce was created to study issues related to the disparities between female and male neurologists including compensation, professional advancement, leadership opportunities, and work/life balance; to make recommendations to the AAN and AAN Institute Boards of Directors for strategies to improve the identified disparities within the neurology and medical communities.

Programming/Engagement Opportunities/Annual Meeting Courses


2018 Annual Meeting Courses:

AAN Sections:

Data/Literature on Diversity/NeuroDisparity

Physician Facing Resources:


United States Census Bureau: A resource for obtaining data regarding the American people and economy.

McNair Scholars: An educational and scholarship opportunity designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Indian Health Services: A resource for information on health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

NINDS – Workforce Diversity: Information on NINDS diversity activities, funding and education.

AAMC: An education and research resource for medical professionals.

Summer Health Professions Education Program: A free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the healthcare professions.

The Leadership Alliance: A leadership resource for underrepresented students.

NIH: MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Awards (T34) An award to provide support for students from underrepresented populations in the biomedical sciences.

Health Resource and Service Administration: Resource for improving care for people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable.

Pew Research Center: A polling resource for the public on issues, attitudes and trends.

NINDS en Espanol: NINDS en Espanol El NINDS tiene la misión de adquirir un conocimiento fundamental sobre el cerebro y el sistema nervioso y utilizar este conocimiento para reducir la carga de las enfermedades neurológicas.

Women At Work Podcast: Conversations about the workplace, and women’s place in it.

Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP): A research award to increase the number of physicians, dentists, and nurses from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.


  • Wendy Vokaty, Senior Manager, Leadership Programs & Special Events:
  • Bonnie Sova, Program Manager, Leadership Programs: