#WhiteCoats4BlackLives: Medical Students Nationwide Protest Police Brutality

December 14, 2014  |  

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It was an inspiring sight. Earlier this week, medical students from more than 70 schools staged protests to speak out against racial profiling and police brutality. The students wore white coats and staged “die ins” through the social media initiative #WhiteCoats4BlackLives.

“The medical students joined others who have demonstrated since grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City declined to indict white police officers in the killings of unarmed Black men,” reports The Huffington Post.

Some of the photos showed medical students holding signs that read, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” and “We Can’t Breathe,” which has become the  rallying cries for those protesting the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York.

The medical student protests were endorsed by Students for a National Health Program, an affiliate of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization with more than 19,000 medical students and professionals.

“We as medical students feel that this is an important time for medical institutions to respond to violence and race-related trauma that affect our communities and the patients we serve,” says a statement on the organization’s website.

“We feel it is essential to begin a conversation about our role in addressing the explicit and implicit discrimination and racism in our communities and reflect on the systemic biases embedded in our medical education curricula, clinical learning environments, and administrative decision-making.”

Medical students in the #WhiteCoats4BlackLives protests included students from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Howard University, Temple University, University of California, Irvine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, and Boston University medical among others. At Mount Sinai Hospital in New York  both hospital staff and students participated.

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