This month’s violent insurrection—with symbols of white supremacy on display—has been deeply troubling and unsettling for many of our members, leaders and patients. The challenge presented to our democracy is another reminder that in order to achieve health equity we all need to be active participants against racism and advocates for equal rights, equal protection under the law and equal access to public programs, services and opportunities for ALL people.
The impact of racism and the difficulties, disparities and mental toll of the COVID-19 pandemic are straining the mental and physical health of our members and patients. The recent, tragic death of Susan Moore, MD, our colleague from Indiana, underscores the need for action. If a Black physician recognizes and reports that they are not receiving adequate care, and still has a tragic outcome, how will patients who do not have the advantage of medical knowledge advocate for and receive equitable, necessary care?
We can and MUST call out racism and health inequities in medicine, in our government, in our neighborhoods. We need to actively work to root out the systemic issues where we live, learn, work and play.
As an organization, we certainly do not have all the answers. But, we are fighting, on behalf of our members and their patients, for health equity through an organization-wide commitment to antiracism work and continued education for Minnesota family physicians. We are striving to use an equity lens in the policy decisions that we make and are working to ensure that the diversity of our membership and communities is represented in the decision-making at the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians.
We desire justice, healing, forward movement and positive change. We want to be an organization that listens and acts on behalf of our members and their patients. We want to work towards a healthier Minnesota for ALL people.
Thank you to our family physician members across the state, who are working on the front line of the pandemic and pushing us to continue to grow and work towards a more just Minnesota.