For eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time George Floyd lay under a Minneapolis policeman’s knee as he died, Amayo and several hundred doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other health care workers kneeled “in remembrance of George Floyd and countless others,” in the words of a flier that flashed around social media this week. The demonstration planned by an Emory medical student on Twitter struck a nerve and grew to include workers at seven hospitals across metro Atlanta. Emory didn’t organize it, but offered support as the size became clear.
The civil unrest that has erupted across the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody has sparked calls from healthcare leaders to address structural racism as a public health crisis. For Dr. Gary LeRoy, a dramatic shift is long overdue in how the nation not only discusses but addresses the issue. LeRoy, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said he hasn’t seen much change in how healthcare providers tackle racial health disparities since he entered medical school in 1984. (Johnson, 6/6)
Medical professionals around Boston on Friday rallied against police brutality and in solidarity with Black Americans, saying racism is a public health crisis and that the city’s world-renowned hospitals should do more to address it. At noon, several hundred people affiliated with Brigham and Women’s Hospital — many wearing scrubs or white coats — gathered in Stoneman Centennial Park for a vigil organized by first-year internal medicine residents. (Griffin and Adams, 6/5)