Health Race Matters

Medicine’s Racial Divide

The American Medical Association apologized to black doctors, admitting to a history of racial discrimination in its policies and practices.

Dr. Ronald Davis, the AMA’s previous president, says the group has “a feeling of profound regret and embarrassment for what has been uncovered.”

Dr. Nelson Adams, who was most recently the president of the National Medical Association, which was founded in 1895 to represent black doctors, says, “[The] AMA looked the other way when local medical associations worked to exclude most black physicians from becoming members.”

The AMA apology is prompted by a study commissioned in 2005 titled, “The Racial Divide in Organized Medicine,” which will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It was only on Saturday that a state study showed that in New York City, black nurses were being paid less than their white counterparts.

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