“On Institutional Silence and the Status Quo”

“Institutional silence teaches us that professionalism in medicine is maintaining the status quo. It also means that we are taught that, on issues of race, we cannot be honest about harsh truths. We are not allowed to talk explicitly of white supremacy — and are barely taught about white privilege — when we have discussions of race and health. We are told that we should not say #BlackLivesMatter, as if affirming the value of Black life somehow implies a simultaneous devaluing of other lives (more on this in a future post). We are given the message that the role of the physician is to quietly practice medicine and not lend their voice in protest against a system that actively harms their patients — and colleagues — of color.
I’m not suggesting that med students and physicians alike need to come out to protests or participate in direct actions or anything of that nature (although that would be awesome!); I understand that that sort of activism isn’t for everybody. But what I am hoping for is the space to dialogue honestly and publicly about these sorts of issues.”

Related: “After Ferguson, Some Black Academics Wonder: Does Pursuing a Ph.D. Matter?

(Credit to AL)

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