Vanderbilt University Medical Center surgeon receives 'hundreds' of death threats after posting viral picture

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 


A Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center resident physician claimed he has received "hundreds" of death threats after a photograph of him taking a knee to fight discrimination went viral in September, according to Weny News.

Eugene Gu, MD, tweeted a picture of himself Sept. 24 kneeling in medical scrubs to show his support "to fight white supremacy."

He claimed he was motivated to post the image after an encounter in January in which two men allegedly began shouting racial slurs at him and physically assaulted him in one of hospital's parking lots, according to the report.

"My own place of work, my own hospital. I wasn't at Vanderbilt hospital to have fun or party, I'm here to do my work, take care of patients. I'm racially attacked. … After that experience, it opened my eyes to the type of discrimination that minorities can experience," Dr. Gu said.

However, Dr. Gu claimed posting the image has caused him to experience discrimination at work. He recounted an instance in which a patient's mother allegedly made him leave the room because she had seen the photograph online, according to the report.

Despite potential instances of discrimination, Dr. Gu said people should speak up to shine a light on such behavior.

"[Speaking out] does put me at increased risk, but if everyone stays silent, then everyone is at increased risk," said Dr. Gu.

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