- Mayo Clinic is committed to eliminating racism and reducing health care disparities. Without systemic change, these inequities compound and detract from the very patients and communities we serve. Racism limits the ability of learners, staff, and faculty to do their job and to be their full authentic self in clinical and learning environments. An effective path toward equity requires elimination of systemic barriers for both patients and staff. To do so, we must embrace opportunities to learn what is actually needed to improve their experience.
- Soon after the first reported US case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in January 2020, the pandemic piled on centuries of adversities from systemic racism and social injustice in communities of color. Then, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died from being pinned at the neck to the ground in handcuffs by a hand-pocketed White police officer, sparking outrage globally, effects of which were captured in a Black community study.1 A flurry of antiracism statements ensued, but in February 2021, the Journal of the American Medical Association posted a podcast and tweet asserting that “no physician is racist.”2 My experience tells me differently.
- With its unrelenting demands on our time, talent, and treasure, the arduous academic journey and personal sacrifices necessary to become a medical doctor are well known within the medical profession. Both the odyssey and the crucible of medical training refine our thoughts and character and forge such strong bonds and respect among our colleagues; it is the tie that binds. From myriad paths and backgrounds, we arrive at our status as physicians to form a team tenaciously dedicated to the health care needs of our patients.