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HIRING: Physicians for Social Justice!

In a time when our nation has seen significant economic & health catastrophy owing to #COVID19, the topic of social determinants of health, health inequalities and health disparities have made headlines. 🧵⬇️
This thankfully, has brought to light, deficiencies in the global construct of our current healthcare system – both in structure and in delivery. At the forefront of these discussions has been the overwhelming evidence that people of minority ethnic/racial backgrounds and those
of lower SES suffer disproportionate rates of infection & death from the dz. While some may argue that the ⬆️ risks are in fact, due to ⬆️ rates of underlying medical risk factors, we ought to also remember & talk about what led to these disparities in risk in the first place.
Cue in: a long-standing hx of underlying discrimination and systemic “exclusion” of people of minority racial & ethnic backgrounds, rooted in our painful hx of racism and lack of opportunity! The same problem that has led to economic hardship, repression, criminalization &
marginalization of an entire generation of African-Americans. The same problem that has led to WIDESPREAD discrimination against & SENSELESS killings of many African-American men & women. The same problem that has
traversed our police departments and led to IRRESPONSIBLE use of force and subsequent UNNECESSARY death of many AA men & women at the hands of the police. The same problem that makes it OK for a White policeman who killed a black man to be put on PAID leave & subsequently fired,
but NOT arrested and reprimanded for their wrongdoing, while countless black men sit in jails/prisons for far less shocking crimes. So, who is to blame for all this?! All of us who do not speak up against discrimination & racism! Those of us who sit in the comfort of our homes,
waiting patiently for the day when all “the noise” will stop. Because yes, as you know and expect, all it takes is a few days of “noise” and it’s over; with NO accountability, NO reprimand, NO justice and yet another day in America. But what if I told you....
that your voice matters! Your allyship is necessary and very important. As @gradydoctor pointed out, had any White individual approached the officers and intervened, #GeorgeFloyd may be alive today. Had any White individuals discussed issues of race & racism with the killer-cop,
#GeorgeFloyd may be alive today. Instead, we all live our lives in isolation, uneducated and yes, even careless about issues of race, disparities and injustice. We talk about them, but have no real sense of what it means and how it affects society.
We (as physicians) all care about health disparities and want to do the best for our patients. But perhaps, before we can fix it and put a stop to the increasing rates of health inequality, we may need to address the real problem: #RACISM and the many forms of #DISCRIMINATION.
Finally, please check on your African-American colleagues, residents, medical students, nurses, friends etc. we are not okay. We are sick, tired and terrified of the injustices that prevail today. Remind them that you know that they are valuable and their lives matter!
I am particularly thankful for my PD, Dr. @DavidASpain & Program Manager, @AnitaHagan @StanfordSurgery, who checked on us to make sure that we were OK. Such exemplary leadership, worthy of emulation! To all physicians in this fight, we see you — much respect to you! ✊🏾✊🏾
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