A reckoning for health care professionals: Should they be activists, too?
Amid the dual crises of a global pandemic and a reckoning with systemic racial injustice, health workers and health educators are grappling with a momentous question that hovers between personal and professional: how much of an activist should a health care worker be?
Doctors, epidemiologists, and nurses are increasingly abandoning their characteristic reticence in favor of direct advocacy. They raised early alarms, in op-eds and on cable news programs, about the disproportionate toll the Covid-19 pandemic was taking on communities of color. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the activism has intensified: they are circulating petitions, ramping up educational outreach, and organizing sit-ins to fight police brutality and systemic racism. They are joining marches and organizing their own; more than 10,000 health care workers donned their white coats and scrubs to march through downtown Seattle to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.