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Doctors vow to fight systemic racism during Indianapolis march

Posted at 1:13 AM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 01:13:00-04

INDIANAPOLIS — On Wednesday, hundreds of doctors and healthcare workers came together in a show of support for racial justice called "White Coats for Black Lives."

The medical professionals plan to do their part to help fight against systemic racism in the United States.

"Racism is a public health crisis and we feel like as physicians it's our obligation to make a stand," Dr. Francesca Duncan said.

That's the big reason why Duncan and all the other healthcare workers came together for the rally and march.

"Racism isn't something that only happened in slavery," another doctor said during the rally. "It's not something that happens in a far away city or professions outside of our own."

Doctor after doctor all shared their stories about race and how it impacts the work they do.

"We know that African-American children are two times as likely to be born in that low birth weight category," another speaker said. "This is nothing but systemic racism and as pediatricians these numbers are well documented so it's time for us to do something about it."

One doctor admitted he's had to do some self reflection when he realized he treated a black patient differently than a white patient, each with the same diagnosis.

"If you think you've never made a decision that was based or impacted by implicit bias, you have not examined your practice closely enough," he said.

These doctors also talked about what started all these rallies and protests across the country — the death of George Floyd.

"Racist policing is a giant public health problem," one doctor said.

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, these doctors and other healthcare workers marched holding up signs, demanding accountability and change.

"We're trained from a young age, from medical school to show empathy and compassion and love to every single one of our patients regardless of their ethnicity, background, race, religious beliefs, etc.," Dr. Roberto Swazo said. "If our local community would show that same kind of love, I think a lot of the issues we're seeing in the media nowadays wouldn't exist."