As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in waves of terror and uncertainty, leaders in academic medicine are faced with a crisis that predates the emergence of the novel coronavirus: institutional racism.
How do leaders overcome our own complicity in healthcare systems that create worse health outcomes for men and women who are Black compared to those who are not Black? What are the specific actions we can take in our positions of power to promote equity and be anti-racist? In this issue, we hope to address some of these questions.
We present three perspectives that offer ways to move beyond statements and sympathies to action. Dr. Vanessa Grubbs writes of her own experiences in academic medicine with institutional and structural racism and presents concrete ways to overcome those forces. Anton Gunn, as a chief diversity officer and former advisor to President Obama, spells out a leadership action plan for those seeking to turn around their workplace culture. Dr. Anna Volerman summarizes the Society of General Internal Medicine position statement on the internists’ role in social determinants of health.
We hope that this issue finds you safe and with an opportunity to lead your areas to a return to better, rather than a return to normal.