“A Call to Action”
Another crisis has overwhelmed our country and we must respond as family physicians and human beings. Racism and discrimination cause social injustice, but also contribute to health disparities that can be the difference between life and death. Whether it is from poor access to care or implicit bias, we have the power to address them all. AAFP states that racism should be declared a public health emergency with a national task force to develop a federal systemic response through legislative actions.
AAFP’s Center for Diversity and Health Equity has created the Everyone Project to address this problem in our own specialty. It provides education, clinical tools, advocacy and research. It also supports workforce diversity and their Implicit Bias Training Guide is already available.
At the state level, we are already aware of the real consequences of racism. Our position statement affirms that racism is a health crisis and needs direct action. All of us need to influence our health care systems and communities as we can. At the chapter level, our policies need review to support inclusion. Educational resources need to be readily available. We will also convene a workgroup to present long-term actionable items to our board and to our members. This process will be difficult and lengthy. We need everyone’s help and ideas, including students and residents. Please contact us to participate in this challenge.
Sabina Singh, MD