About the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) was founded in 1962 and today represents more than 1,100 members across Canada, including physicians, basic scientists, and affiliated health care providers who work in the field of gastroenterology.
The CAG is a member-focused organization with a mission to support and engage in the study of the organs of the digestive tract in health and disease, as well as to promote and advance gastroenterology by providing leadership in patient care, research, teaching and continuing professional development. The CAG is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest ethical standards for Canada’s community of gastroenterologists.
Commitment to patient care
The CAG leads a number of important initiatives to promote patient care and to ensure timely access to quality service across Canada. The Association is one of the first specialty societies in Canada and the only one in the area of digestive health care to examine and call for more training positions to address the coming shortage of gastroenterologists and the growing demand for colorectal cancer screening.
In addition, the CAG is a member of the Wait Time Alliance (WTA), which reports on the length of time Canadians can wait for diagnosis and treatment of a number of gastroenterology diseases. Through its Survey of Access to GastroEnterology (SAGE), conducted in 2005, 2008 and 2012, the CAG provides data on total wait times for patients seeking endoscopy care and treatment.
Building knowledge and expertise for Canada’s gastroenterology community
To fulfill its mandate for education and to enable its members to meet the highest professional standards, the CAG provides exceptional professional development opportunities, including:
- the Canadian Digestive Diseases Week (CDDW), an annual scientific conference
- an online education portal (ePortal), which offers a number of continuing medical education opportunities for CAG members
- the Gastroenterology Residents-in-Training (GRIT) course
- the Scholars’ Program for medical students and internal medicine residents
- the annual Research Topics in GI Disease program for undergraduate and PhD students as well as post-doctoral trainees
- the Visiting Professorship (clinical and research) programs to encourage excellence across the country
- the Lecture Series webinar for Gastroenterology Residents-in-Training
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.
Making advancements in research
The CAG’s primary research focus is placed in the CAG/Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Industry Research Program. In this program, the Government of Canada matches 1:1 all money raised from industry partners to support research in gastroenterology. Research funding is available for clinicians, gastroenterology residents, postdoctoral fellows, community gastroenterologists, and graduate and summer students. Over the past 20 years, more than 400 researchers have benefited from $26M in funding to support research in gastroenterology in Canada.
Forging strong partnerships
The CAG works closely with industry partners to advance research, education and patient care in all areas of digestive health and disease. Through various levels of sponsorship, partners support the high quality programs developed by the Association for Canada’s gastroenterology community, including the CIHR Industry Research Program and the annual CDDW.
Working with the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF) is the fundraising and public education arm of the CAG. As the association’s foundation, the CDHF reports to the CAG’s Board of Directors. The CDHF helps the more than 20 million Canadians suffering from digestive disorders every year understand and take control of their digestive health. The CDHF relies on the generosity of supporters to run its foundation and achieve its goals. Financial support enables funding for initiatives that help reduce the incidence of digestive disorders, improve quality of life, support those living with digestive disorders and the professionals who care for them, and enhance patient education and research.