Canada, as we know it today, is steeped in rich Indigenous history and modern traditions. From coast to coast to coast, we acknowledge the ancestral and unceded territory of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, who call this land home, and thank them for being stewards of Canada’s traditional territories. We come with respect for this land that we are on today, and for the people who have and do reside here.
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) was founded in 1962 with a mandate of:
- Supporting and engaging in the study of the organs of the digestive tract in health and disease,
- Promoting the advancement of the science and art of gastroenterology by providing leadership in patient care, research, teaching and continuing professional development (CPD), and
- Promoting and maintaining the highest ethical standards.
Over 1,100 members including gastroenterologists, surgeons, pediatricians, basic scientists, and nurses comprise the Association. The CAG provides professional gastroenterological education and funding opportunities for gastrointestinal health and disease research, and more recently, has advocated for improved timeliness and quality of digestive health care for Canadians.
The CAG/Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)/Industry Research Program is an exceptional research opportunity in which the federal government matches 1:1 all money raised from industry partners in support of gastrointestinal research. Funding is available for all levels of training including for clinicians, gastroenterology residents, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and summer students. The Program has been a successful and highly sought-after funding avenue for over fifteen years; in the first ten years, 87 researchers were funded to a total of over $8.7 million, in support of the highest quality research in gastroenterology in Canada (Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology 2003;17(7):437-9). Many of these researchers have gone on to secure clinical and/or academic appointments within Canadian institutions and CIHR funding, as well as becoming the mentors for the next generation of scientists.
The CAG provides exceptional educational events such as Canadian Digestive Diseases Week™ (CDDW™), which members have rated on par with the popular American Gastroenterological Association Digestive Disease Week, the Gastroenterology Residents-in-Training (GRIT) Course, and the Scholars' Program for medical students and PGY1 and PGY2 internal medicine residents. The Association also provides a number of online continuing medical education opportunities. Since 2001, the CAG has been an approved provider of accredited gastroenterological education as conferred by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
The CAG is very active in the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines, producing two to four guidelines each year. There is a concerted effort underway regarding quality aspects. This including the Skills Enhancement for Endoscopy™ program which aims to standardize endoscopy training and to provide an avenue for endoscopists to access upskilling. The Global Rating Scale is an online quality improvement tool available to endoscopy units.
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology remains dedicated to research, professional education, and patient care in all areas of digestive health and disease, in support of the economic and social health of all Canadians.