This apology came about after an AMA-supported panel of exerts studied the history of racial divide in organized medicine. In this video, Dr. Thaddeus Bell talks about this history of discrimination and the impact of the apology. .
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Rebecca Fox: An important first step that’s what many healthcare professionals have called the American Medical Association’s apology for history of racial inequality towards African-American doctors. This apology came about after an AMA supported panel of experts studied the history of racial divide and organized medicine. What does panel found was more than 100 years of discriminatory practices that prevented African-American doctors from participating in the AMA? Joining us now to talk about this history of discrimination and the impact of the apology is family practice physician Doctor Thaddeus Bell. Dr. Bell, thank you so much for joining us. Dr. Thaddeus Bell: Thank you very much for having me again, Rebecca. Rebecca Fox: This is not the first time the American Medical Association in some capacity has apologized for discrimination against Africans-Americans. I know in 2005, the then President of the association apologized so what makes this year’s apology different. Dr. Thaddeus Bell: I think the thing that makes this year apology different is that number one, it was an apology that was first of all done by the past president of the American Medical Association and it was publicized in a way that the first apology back in 2005 was not publicized. The apology done in 2005 was directly related to what discrimination, what role it played in health disparities and in 2005, the American Medical Association and the National Medical Association were in the process of trying to collaborate and find ways in which he could deal globally with the health disparity issue. Rebecca Fox: What were some of the AMA discrimination policies that this independent panel found? Dr. Thaddeus Bell: Well, the independent panel found number one that the organization for over 100 years had discriminatory policies directed to what Africans-Americans. Those policies included not allowing African-American physicians to participate in the AMA. Now, I should mention that what AMA did is the AMA endorsed state organizations that the AMA was apparent to then those organizations not allowing African-Americans to participate. And so what they did for African-American is number one is because we could not participate in the AMA then that often times meant that we could not have hospital privileges by hospitals in our community, that we were feel us to practice in the basements of many hospitals and it also set a mindset towards African-Americans physicians that we are inferior to white physicians and as a result that mindset contributed to a lot of racial disparities that we currently experienced today. Rebecca Fox: That brings me to the next question, how much do these policies affect the healthcare of African-Americans and to what extent are these policies still affecting us? Dr. Thaddeus Bell: Well, the AMA came to the conclusion that this mindset, this discriminatory policies which started back at its inception and in fact continued through the Civil War and all the way up through the 60s when the country in fact was trying to move forward with improving racial discrimination. But the AMA being the major body that it was did not move forward with the country and did not do the right thing by all of its physicians. I think the thing that bothered most people, most white physicians was that the AMA had one of its principles. The hypocritical and the hypocritical oath along with other oaths that AMA was built on said that we should not discriminate, said that we should treat everybody the same, said that by all means should respect our fellow colleagues and I think that going into this century when they looked back at it. They were embarrassed. They felt that going forward, we could not go forward in a collaborative way if they did not speak to the past discriminations that were done, acknowledging that they happened and in collaborating with the enemy going forward to help get rid of some of these disparities. I would also imagine that because that apolo

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