Practicing from the Heart in the age of Technology
"Warm Bodies in White Coats" was the title of an article on June 9, 1975, of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Written by Robert C. Derbyshire, MD, Secretary of New Mexico Board of Medical Examiners. The article objected to foreign graduate doctors and people of color practicing medicine in the U.S. Stating: "Of primary concern is the foreign medical graduate, with inferior education and limited knowledge of English, who does not qualify for regular licensure in the United States but who, because of acute manpower shortages, is placed in a position of authority in a state hospital."
What was surprising was the fact that JAMA actually printed it. It received one of the highest numbers of protest letters to the article.
What is even more shocking is that AMA is still struggling with its more than 175 years of racist history. For it was just in 2018 that AMA finally acknowledged its shortcomings on racial injustice and, as its report to AMA's House of Delegates, described it: “rooted in white patriarchy and affluent supremacy.” Such racism has been detrimental to the health of many minority communities. As it was reported by Usha Lee McFarling in STAT, it further states: How AMA has excluded black, brown, and Native American physicians, espoused racism, and harmed people of color its members take an oath to not harm. The report further serves as AMA's reckoning with its racist past and its refusal to engage with many of the issues now roiling medicine and the country at large.
It goes on to say, “As a national leader in health care, it is incumbent on us to lean into our influence and play a more prominent role in the current national reckoning on equity and justice.”
Here, we can, sarcastically say: "NO, You think?"
In looking back at the last couple of centuries, one notices discrimination at all levels by all people. Though white man's bias stands out, others are found to be just as wrong. After all, white man wronged himself too. We have to remember that it was their hatred for the less fortunate that sent thousands of - so-called - criminals to the colonies in America and Australia. And in their fateful crimes executed upon others, none were worse than the genocidal wars upon the native people of these new lands. When Columbus landed in the Americas, there were more than one hundred million Native Americans here, today, there are less than two million. So it is with great regret to still be witnessing the incidents of the past few years and the horrifying event of January 6, 2021. It brings to surface the resentment of what it's like to feel prejudice and the extent people can go when feeling threatened. It is satisfying though to notice such awakening, worldwide. Perhaps now will come a time of recognition that the progenies of Adam are of one seed and that there is only one race on this small planet, and we are all members of the HUMAN RACE!