This message is an "open letter to physicians":
Physicians must always remember to be respectful in our behavior on and off duty in our clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, patient homes and at other sites where we provide health care services.
Southern culture and lifestyle have been and still are revered by many in our community. Southern culture and lifestyle also have been riddled with discrimination, disenfranchisement, prejudice and racism toward people of color ... especially African Americans.
It is shameful and extremely unfortunate that some of my physician colleagues in Sumter, South Carolina, espouse openly and publicly their beliefs and thoughts which entice and promote race-baiting and exclusionism.
The Prisma Health Tuomey Leadership Team must take concrete, corrective and decisive actions directed at these aforementioned physicians in order to educate them and all staff, including all departments, on the vital importance of civil rights and human rights, equality and justice for all.
Lessons must be taught to instill in the minds, hearts and souls of these "learned individuals" that times have changed from what they were accustomed to back in the "good ole days" when "Jim Crow" flourished and was the law of the land.
Physicians, based on our academic training, are by history detail-oriented, focused and in-depth learners. Perhaps the education that all of us physicians received in medical school lacked the ability to relay the message that we are to treat our patients, other health care workers and everyone who does not look like us or live like us with attitudes that are void of prejudicial beliefs and thoughts.
It is vitally important that the Prisma Health Tuomey Leadership Team takes heed to the above message and gets busy with the resolution of this urgent matter!
BRENDA C. WILLIAMS, M.D.
The Family Unit Inc., a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, charitable organization
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