Across the country, providers rally in support of Black Lives Matter movement

Physicians and other healthcare workers across the U.S. are protesting police brutality and rallying in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Protests have been raging across the country this week, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd's neck while taking him into custody. Mr. Floyd's death is another in a long line of deaths among black people in police custody nationwide.

More than 100 physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals gathered in silence at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue June 5 to honor Mr. Floyd and other victims of police violence, MedPage Today reports. They remained silent for nine minutes, the approximate time the officer had his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck before he died. After nine minutes of silence, protesters chanted, including the words, "I can't breathe," some of Mr. Floyd's last words before he died.

On June 3, hundreds of physicians and nurses at Eskenazi Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, both in Indianapolis, marched around the hospitals in a protest they called "white coats for black lives," Fox 59, central Indiana's Fox affiliate, reported. There were several speeches made calling attention to health inequities pertaining to race.

Similarly, healthcare professionals gathered in downtown Sacramento, Calif., for a "white coats against racism" protest June 2, according to KCRA-TV, an NBC affiliate. They followed social-distancing guidelines during the protest and knelt for nine minutes.

"We will be protesting in our white coats and bringing attention to not only the recent deaths but the medical disparities that affect people of color," a physician said before the protest, KCRA-TV reported.

In Atlanta, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers will be gathering to kneel against racial injustice at Emory School of Medicine June 5, WSB-TV, an ABC affiliate, reported. Nurses in the city also are planning a protest at a park June 5, and participants are encouraged to wear scrubs and bring signs.

"With our stethoscopes and white coats, we promised to do no harm, and we must find the voice within us to break the silence like we are doing today," Kamini Doobay, MD, an emergency medicine resident at New York University Langone Health, said at the protest at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, MedPage Today reported.

More articles on integration and physician issues:
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5 ways to safeguard clinician well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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