The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and the disproportionate toll that Covid-19 is wreaking on black communities have shone a light on our nation’s failings on issues of racial justice. ADMSEP Council joins with its members in condemning this racism that threatens the safety and well-being of people of color across the country, including our members, our students and the patients we serve.
As an organization of medical educators, we echo the call to action that the Association of American Medical Colleges made this week: We must acknowledge and speak out against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias in our environments in our institutions, communities, and society. We must stand in solidarity with the Black community and speak out against unjust and inhumane incidents of violence. We must demonstrate empathy and compassion and acknowledge the pain and grief that the families and the communities of these victims are experiencing. We must take the lead in educating ourselves and others to address these issues head-on. We must be deliberate and partner with local communities, public health agencies, and municipal governments to dismantle structural racism and end police brutality. We must employ anti-racist and unconscious bias training and engage in interracial dialogues that will dispel the misrepresentations that dehumanize our Black community members and other marginalized groups. We must move from rhetoric to action to eliminate the inequities in our care, research, and education of tomorrow’s doctors. The full link to their statement can be found here: https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/press-releases/aamc-statement-police-brutality-and-racism-america-and-their-impact-health
As psychiatric educators training the doctors of tomorrow, we must incorporate the concepts of racism and other social determinants of health into our curricula. We must redouble our efforts to make our students aware of the deleterious effects of trauma, including racial trauma, and therapeutic approaches. We must ensure that we listen to the voices of our colleagues and students of color, stand with them in the fight against racism and support their career development. We must make ourselves aware of our own unconscious biases and recognize and address any mistreatment, including microaggressions (a coin termed by Black psychiatrist Chester Pierce), that we perpetrate or witness.
Sadly, we will not be able to assemble for our annual meeting this year and enjoy each other’s fellowship as well as to process together the tragic and unsettling recent events. We hope that our membership will continue to join together to provide excellent psychiatric education and scholarship, with an increased awareness of inequities and firm commitment toward anti-racism.
Benoit Dubé, M.D.; President Susan W, Lehmann, M.D.; Immediate Past President John Spollen, M.D.; Past President Howard Y. Liu, M.D.; President Elect/Treasurer Lisa Fore Arcand, Ed. D.; Secretary and Newsletter Editor Greg Briscoe, M.D., Webmaster & Second Past President Matthew N. Goldenberg, M.D., M.Sc., Council Member Erin Malloy, M.D., Council Member Dawnelle Schatte, M.D., Council Member Lia A. Thomas, M.D., Council Member Lindsey Allison, M.Ed., Administrative Director