Medical Journals Reluctant to Take on Racism, Critics Say

After JAMA’s podcast, Dr. Givens set about tabulating the race, gender and ethnicity of editors and editorial board members on the JAMA community of journals and the New England Journal of Medicine. The present editor of JAMA Dermatology could also be “the only nonwhite editor in the entire history of all those journals,” he mentioned.

Dr. Givens, who’s Black, mentioned he didn’t object to the subject of the controversial podcast. But to focus on whether or not structural racism exists with out having specialists on that subject nor Black physicians current was “a complete breakdown of scientific thinking,” he mentioned. “If that’s not structural racism, or even meta-structural racism, I don’t know what is.”

In October, Dr. Givens contacted Dr. Rubin, editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Dr. Bauchner, declaring the disparities in staffing at their journals.

“I note with humor but absolute sincerity that there are more editors named David at your journals than Black and LatinX editors combined or East Asian and South Asian editors separately,” he wrote. Dr. Rubin responded and organized a gathering to hear extra. Dr. Bauchner didn’t reply, in accordance to Dr. Givens.

“People are just really resistant to the very possibility that somebody might call them a racist, or that we might suggest that they hold racist views or ideas,” Dr. Givens mentioned. “And because of that, there’s this unwillingness, or really this tendency, to shut down the conversation whenever it goes there.”

In an interview, Dr. Rubin acknowledged that the journal’s workers was not various sufficient, however mentioned the low turnover amongst editors offered challenges to hiring new folks.

Since his arrival, the journal has added 4 editors and 4 editorial board members, and in June, launched a piece of the journal’s web site known as Race and Medicine. Although the journal doesn’t have self-reported info on race, half of the brand new additions are folks of shade, and three — together with the brand new govt editor — are ladies, he mentioned.

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