Pediatric Docs Group Apologizes for Racist Previous Towards Black Physicians

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Pediatric Doctors Group Apologizes for Racist Past Toward Black Physicians

As the field got more exclusive, it also got whiter, according to Adam Biggs, a historian at the University of South Carolina. "When we talk about how modern medicine came to define what it means to be a modern practitioner, it was racially ingrained," Biggs said. "Segregation has been embedded in the pipeline."

Between its limitations on medical education and its exclusive membership, the A.M.A. played a role in maintaining the homogeneity of the profession, which he recognized in his 2008 declaration. Since then, it has appointed a Chief Health Equity Officer and established a Health Equity Center. Dr. Goza said that A.M.A. helped get the American Academy of Pediatrics to grapple with its own history.

There have been some historical examples of efforts to combat racism in the medical field. In 1997, President Clinton apologized for the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which was conducted between 1932 and 1972, a quarter of a century after it was first revealed by The Associated Press. At the beginning of the 21st century, some attorneys general apologized for the forced sterilization of black, mentally ill and disabled people that began in the early 20th century.

Following the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department in late May, a spate of medical groups published statements of racial health differences: the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Psychiatric Association and more. The American Public Health Association issued a statement recognizing racism as a "public health crisis." But few have come to terms with their own history of racial discrimination as A.M.A. and A.A.P. have done. The leadership of these groups, like the field itself, is predominantly white.

But some of its future members and leaders are now calling for changes on the medical school campus.

Dr. Tequilla Manning, a family doctor in New York, graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center three years ago. As a medical student, she carried out a research project on Dr. Marjorie Cates, the school's first black graduate. She started drawing parallels between Dr. Cates' experience of discrimination on campus and her own draw.

Before graduating in 2017, she gave a presentation on the history of Dr. Cates. Some of the other students in the audience loved it. They campaigned for the University of Kansas to establish a campus medical society for Dr. Rename Cates. The group previously honored a dean of the school who had advocated racial segregation clinical facilities.

Last year, Dr. Manning attended the Cates Society renaming ceremony. "I was crying," she said. “What I've experienced is not on the spectrum of what my ancestors experienced through white doctors. But I spent five years at this institution thinking there was no hope. "

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