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 1100 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 the yearly Canadian Digestive Diseases Week™ (CDDW™) annual scientific conference, 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.

In response to reports of excessive patient waiting times for care and concerns over the number of digestive disease specialists, the Association in 2004 launched its Human Resource Planning Project which involved three complementary initiatives.  The first was a detailed census of professionals providing digestive health care in Canada.  The second initiative was a multidisciplinary consensus panel charged with establishing evidence- and expertise-based target maximal wait times or benchmarks for digestive health care.  The third initiative was a practice audit in gastroenterology (PAGE) program to quantify actual wait times for digestive disease consultations and procedures. For the findings from these crucial initiatives we invite you to visit the Wait Times Overview page of the website.  In April 2007, the CAG was one of five medical organizations invited to join the Wait Time Alliance for Timely Access to Health Care.

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.