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While racism has always undeniably impacted the health of marginalized communities and exacerbated health disparities, the historic events of 2020 have brought to national attention the true effects of racism as a public health crisis. From the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement to the clear inequalities in health outcomes in Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the events of the past year have shown the urgent need for the medical community to address systemic racism and unconscious bias in the healthcare system. As family medicine physicians, we have a moral obligation to address racism and advocate for our patients.
The MDAFP Task Force aims to implement high impact strategies that provide our physicians with tools to combat racism in all segments of medicine.
President-Elect Shana Ntiri, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Chair of the Task Force on Health Equity and Racism, acknowledges the subgroup of this task force who thoughtfully worked on the MDAFP statement. Many thanks to the statement group for your fine work: co-chairs Chelsea McCabe, MD and Crystal Pristell, DO, Corey Boggs, MD and Richard Colgan, MD.
The board approved this statement on July 18, 2021, and the academy will continue to keep this important effort on the forefront of our minds as we carry our mission forward.
This initiative helps you confront health disparities to improve the health of all people. Your MDAFP leaders are prioritizing education and resources to advocate for health equity, promote workforce diversity, and collaborate with other disciplines and organizations to advance health equity.
Nationwide, across nearly all media channels, we see demonstrations led by communities of color who, daily, bear the tiresome weight of discrimination, marginalization and fear. They are joined by those from all demographics, who cannot abide the perpetuation of inhumane racial profiling and violence. In these heavy days, it seems the historic and heroic sacrifices to create an equitable society with room for the dignity and care of all human life, have thus far been wholly insufficient.
The MDAFP leadership shares this commitment to the elimination of institutional racism and the policies and practices that arise therefrom. We envision a future where our society’s thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs allow for the safety and dignity of all people. Additionally, we are blessed to have within our membership a beautiful diversity formed from our varied cultures and lived experiences.
In closing, the MDAFP is honored to have the privilege not only to care for all segments in our communities, but have among them the talent and influence to help resolve the ugliness of health disparity and pave the way toward a better future.