The UNC Medical Alumni Affairs Office and Medical Alumni Association shared this message with their members on Monday, June 15. There will be a forum for alumni this afternoon, June 25.
Dear UNC Medical Alumni,
The Medical Alumni Affairs office and the Medical Alumni Association are deeply troubled by incidents of police brutality and racial injustice. In the strongest possible terms, we condemn these incidents involving the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others. Black lives matter.
As health care workers, we were there when George Floyd was taken away in an ambulance. We were there when he could not be resuscitated. We witnessed Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery as they were brought into our hospitals, and we saw that there was nothing that could be done to save them. We are there at the end of every act of brutality – not just to treat the physical injuries, but also to care for the mental damage that is dealt to the victims, to the families, to the communities and to our country. We are the first and last responders.
As physicians and those who work alongside physicians, we are well aware that medical education and the practice of medicine has a long, sad history of its own injustices. Over the last half century, we have engaged Black members of the community in addressing the shortage of physicians of color as well as disparities in the medical care of Black/African American people. We would also like to enlist members of the medical community to help identify and dismantle the systems that have contributed to and perpetuated medical injustice and health disparities. We still have a long way to go.
We hope that you will keep sending us your observations and suggestions on how we can continue to heal the injustices of the past while moving forward to our ultimate goal of justice for all.
We are in the process of planning a virtual forum for alumni to come together and discuss these vital topics. More details on this event will be shared very soon. Thank you for all that you do.
Wesley C. “Butch” Fowler, Jr., M.D. ’66
Associate Dean for Medical Alumni Affairs
Wesley C. “Cas” Fowler, III, M.D.
President, Medical Alumni Association