Fallout from JAMA Podcast Continues
March 10, 2021 – One of the country’s leading medical research journals faces calls for an investigation after a controversial – and since deleted – podcast questioned the existence of structural racism.
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for an investigation to JAMA – the journal of the American Medical Association – after the February podcast titled “Structural Racism for Physicians: What is it?”
Podcast host Edward Livingston, MD, associate editor of JAMA for clinical examinations and education, has also been criticized. During the podcast, Livingston, who is white, said, “Structural racism is an unfortunate term. Personally, I think removing racism from the conversation will help. Many of us are offended by the idea that we are racists. “
Now Livingston’s status at JAMA is not clear. When asked if Livingston still worked for the newspaper, a JAMA the spokesperson only said: “No comment”.
Podcast audio has been removed from JAMAwebsite. In its place is the audio of a statement by JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner, MD. In his statement, which he released last week, he said the comments in the podcast, which also featured Mitch Katz, MD, were “inaccurate, offensive, hurtful and inconsistent with standards of JAMA. “
Katz is a writer at JAMA Internal Medicine and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals in New York.
A JAMA tweet promoting the podcast episode. The tweet read: “No doctor is racist, so how can there be structural racism in healthcare? An explanation of the idea of doctors for doctors in this user-friendly podcast. “
The incident sparked anger and confusion in the medical community.
Herbert C. Smitherman, MD, associate dean of diversity and community affairs at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, noted after hearing the podcast that this was a symptom of a problem many wider.
“This podcast had racist tendencies at its core. These attitudes explain why you don’t have so many articles written by Blacks and Maroons in JAMA“He said.” People’s attitudes, whether conscious or unconscious, are what motivate the policies and practices that create structural racism.
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