A Letter to Our Patients on Racism

In mid-July, a small group of physicians wrote and began to circulate this letter to colleagues across the country. To date, there are over 3500 signers and counting. Here is the introduction and major points – see full text of letter here:

“We are doctors and medical students who witnessed the events of the week of July 4th, 2016 with horror and grief. The murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota and Delrawn Small in Brooklyn, New York reiterated a lesson that we should not have to keep learning: that black and brown people in the United States are at risk of police violence unlike any other group of people. There is a long tradition of physician-activists who have devoted their careers to working for racial justice. Yet historically, physicians as a group have not yet taken adequate responsibility for confronting racism, in our work or outside of it. We write to you now, late in making these promises, to make explicit the following five commitments:

1. We commit to support Black Lives Matter …

2. We commit to dismantling the structural racism embedded in the healthcare system …

3. We commit to learn how to provide trauma-informed care, and to teach this approach to our students, trainees and fellow providers …

4. We commit to healing communities ravaged by discriminatory criminal justice practices through engaging public health systems …

5. We commit to using our power as constituents and leaders to insist that every major medical society and association develop a policy on racial justice. ”

Link to full text of letter HERE.