National Medical Association President Dr. Rachel Villanueva told AP, “We have scores of doctors that are sending us letters about these same discriminatory practices all the time and seeking our help as an association in fighting that.”
Black doctors, who make up merely 5 percent of all physicians, are reportedly facing discriminatory practices including microaggressions, disciplinary action, and job termination on the grounds of race. Many healthcare workers including Dr. Dare Adewumi are suing hospitals for unfairly targetting Black physicians.
Dr. Adewumi has filed a lawsuit against Wellstar Cobb Hospital for employment discrimination based on race. The Atlanta doctor was fired after various colleagues filed 14 anonymous letters of inquiry questioning his surgical practices.
An independent review of the letters found that Adewumi’s colleague’s questions were based on opinions of his surgical technique and approach rather than patient safety. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Adewumi believes the Wellstar Medical Group and Wellstar Health Systems have also stopped him from finding permanent employment elsewhere.
Wellstar’s attorney William Hill denied Adewumi’s allegations and said to AP, “Wellstar does not discriminate. Dr. Adewumi has not been the subject of discrimination or unfair treatment. Patient care and safety are Wellstar’s top priorities.”
Other Black physicians told AP that they are prevented from excelling in the competitive hospital hierarchy because they are automatically disliked and perceived as threats.