The head editor of the leading medical journal was placed on administrative leave on Thursday, following controversial comments on racism in medicine made by a sub-editor at JAMA.
A committee of the American Medical Association that oversees the journal stated that Drs. Howard Boucher will be replaced by the results pending an interim editor of an independent investigation. The decision was announced on Thursday in an email to employees.
JAMA is one of the world’s leading medical journals, which publishes research that shapes the scientific agenda and public policy around the world. The controversy began when Drs. Ed Livingston, a deputy editor, said on February 24 that structural racism no longer exists in the United States.
“Structural racism is an unfortunate word,” Dr. Said Livingston, who is white. “Personally, I think that dialogue will help to bring out racism. Many people like us are hurt by the implication that we are somehow racist. “
The podcast was promoted with a tweet from the magazine stating, “No physician is racist, so how can structural racism occur in health care?” Feedback Both had Intense And angrily, prompted the magazine to take down the podcast and Delete tweet.
A week later, Drs. Boucher addressed the controversy. “The comments made in the podcast were inaccurate, derogatory, hurt and inconsistent with JAMA’s standards,” Dr. Boucher said in a statement. “We are bringing changes that will address such failures and prevent them from happening again.”
Dr. Livingston later resigned. On Thursday night, JAMA officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Many in the medical community said that the magazine had not gone too far and offered events Opportunities Making more systemic changes. In an email sent to the leaders of the AMA, a group of doctors described Drs. The removal and inclusion of Howard Boucher called for “a careful examination of the JAMA editorial staff and board.”
The authors also took the initiative Petition, Now signed by about 7,000 people, the magazine was written by Drs. Asking Boucher to hold him accountable and review and restructure the editorial process.
“It’s not just that this podcast is problematic – it’s that JAMA has a long and documented history of institutional racism,” said Dr. Black, a Black Physician. Said Brittany James, who practices on the south side of Chicago and who helped launch the petition.
“That podcast should never happen,” said Dr., an emergency physician in New York. Uche Blackstock said. “That tweet should never have happened. The fact that the podcast was conceived, recorded and posted.
“I think it caused an indescribable amount of pain and trauma to black physicians and patients,” she said. “And I think the magazine is going to take a long time to heal that pain.”
Recently, other leading journals have had to revisit their roles in eradicating racism in medicine. In January, Alan Weil, Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs, accepted The magazine’s “staff and leadership is highly white and financially privileged,” and is committed to reviewing its editorial process.
In an email to JAMA employees, the American Medical Association chief executive Drs. James L. Madara, It was promised that its investigation would investigate “how the podcast and related tweet was developed, reviewed and eventually published,” and said the AMA engaged independent investigators to ensure fairness .
He did not offer a date for the investigation’s conclusion.