June 3, 2020

Hundreds Gather At White Coats For Black Lives March

Physicians and medical professionals gathered Wednesday to protest health disparities and racism in medicine. - Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media

Physicians and medical professionals gathered Wednesday to protest health disparities and racism in medicine.

Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media

About a mile from Monument Circle, hundreds of physicians and medical professionals stood on the garden in front of Eskenazi Hospital. It was a sea of white coats -- and nearly everyone wore a facemask. 

The protest, White Coats For Black Lives, was organized to address health disparities and racism in medicine. Dr. Francesca Dunan, who helped organized it, says recognizing that health disparities exist is a crucial first step. 

“And then, as physicians and healthcare providers, identifying those health disparities in our subspecialties and then coming up with tangible tasks that we can do to try to combat them,” she said. 

Several speakers highlighted these disparities, like higher maternal and infant mortality rates for black women. 

“We’re meant to show empathy, compassion, love to every single one of our patients, regardless of who they are, where they’re from, what their religious beliefs are, background, etc.,” Dr. Roberto Swazo said. “So if we can’t show that love during a day like this, during a time like this, I don’t know when we’re going to be able to do so.” 

Some held signs that read, “Stop killing my patients! Stop killing my friends!” and “Black moms, black babies, black lives matter.” 

As cars drove by, people honked in support. And the protest and march went forward with very little police presence.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the last name of Dr. Francesca Dunan. 

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