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'No Physician Is Racist' Tweet Doesn't Go Over Well

JAMA medical journal's editor has been suspended amid investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 26, 2021 10:30 AM CDT
Esteemed Medical Journal in Midst of Racism Controversy

The top editor at the Journal of the American Medical Association has been sidelined amid outcry from Black physicians over a tweet and podcast on racism, per the AP. "No physician is racist, so how can there be structural racism in health care?” the tweet read in part, promoting a podcast that critics called cringeworthy and appalling. JAMA removed the podcast earlier this month and its editor-in-chief, Dr. Howard Bauchner, issued an apology. But the independent association committee that oversees the journal started an investigation and on Thursday placed Bauchner on administrative leave pending the outcome. "The decision to place the editor-in-chief on administrative leave neither implicates nor exonerates individuals and is standard operating procedure for such investigations,’’ the committee said in a statement.

"It’s a reasonable first step but it should not be seen as mission accomplished,’’ Dr. Raymond Givens, a Black cardiologist in New York, said Friday. He has been a vocal online critic of a lack of diversity among editors of JAMA and other prominent medical journals. The podcast was billed as a discussion for skeptics and featured two white doctors: a deputy journal editor who expressed discomfort with the word “racism’’ and a physician who runs a New York City health system. That deputy later resigned at Bauchner’s request and JAMA created a new associate editor position for someone with expertise in racism in health care. Only one of the seven oversight committee members is Black, and the editorial boards of JAMA and other leading medical journals are mostly white, Givens noted.

(More JAMA stories.)

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