Troubling podcast puts JAMA, the ‘voice of medicine,’ under fire for its mishandling of race

Weeks after it was scrubbed from the Journal of the American Medical Association’s website, a disastrous podcast — whose host, a white editor and physician, questioned whether racism even exists in medicine — is surfacing complaints that JAMA and other elite medical journals have routinely excluded, minimized, and mishandled issues of race.

Recent examples include research blaming higher death rates from Covid-19 in African Americans on a single gene in their nasal passages; a letter claiming structural racism doesn’t play a role in pulse oximeters working less well on patients with dark skin because machines can’t exhibit bias; and an article claiming that students of programs designed to increase diversity in medicine won’t make good doctors.

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