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Can you recognize a physician just by looking at someone?

At the 2016 AMA Interim Meeting in Orlando, Fla, the topic of diversity in medicine was discussed.  Cedrick M Bright, MD explained his experiences within the medical field and how he was born during American segregation.  For Dr. Bright, diversity is not about separation but about connecting. “In an orchestra, you can have up to 48 instruments. That is the epitome of diversity,” Cedric M. Bright, MD, told medical students. “But when the conductor stands up and they all commence to playing as one entity, that diversity becomes harmony, and becomes powerful. It fills you with emotion; it moves you. That becomes an excellent experience.“

To culminate the conversation on diversity, Patrice A. Harris, MD, sat down with Tamika Cross, MD to discuss her minority experience in medicine.  Dr Cross explained how discrimination on an airplane delayed her ability to save a patients life.  While the big issue was surrounding physician identification, Dr Cross felt the real reason dealt with a prejudging of her abilities based on her appearance. 

While there is a push within the medical community to develop universal identification for physicians, "Frank Clark, MD, a psychiatrist at the Carilion Clinic in Christiansburg, Va., and chair of the AMA Minority Affairs Section and its Young Physicians Section representative” does not think the solution is so simple.  "Yes, I carry my AMA identification,“  Dr. Clark stated,  "but if I’m on a beach, for example, and then there’s a medical emergency, is someone going to say, ‘Dr. Clark, can you show me your credentials?”

“As a physician who has been on an airplanes, you’re off the clock on a flight,” he said, “but if something happens I’m going to be the first person to push the call light and say, ‘I’m a physician, how can I help you?’

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