Letters to the Editor
We're Listening and Taking Action on Racism and Health Inequities
Am Fam Physician. 2020 Sep 1;102(5):261.
From the Editor-in-Chief
“Race is a sociopolitical construct.”1
“[There is a] need for more racially inclusive language and equity-driven content in American Family Physician (AFP).”2
“AFP is well-positioned to help readers address inequities in our one-on-one patient encounters through improving the quality of care that we provide to marginalized groups.”2
These are just some of the words from readers rightly pointing out that AFP has much work to do in addressing systemic racism and health inequities. I have been thinking about these words and how to translate them into meaningful actions. This is a profound task that requires a carefully constructed strategy, not just an empty promise or philosophical endorsement. I have been reading about racism; listening to podcasts; attending virtual town halls; and having conversations with colleagues, friends, and family to take a deep dive and understand what transformations will be necessary for the journal going forward. As I mentioned in my editorial reflecting on AFP in its 70th year: “Our content is based on a curriculum of topics we solicit and on proposed topics that authors submit. We welcome comments and discussion on this content, and I believe that it is important to share diverse views.”3 We are listening to your comments, and we must take a closer look at our curriculum and processes. Many projects and meetings are already underway with opportunities for our entire team to take critical steps in addressing racism and health inequity collaboratively. As each of these projects comes to fruition and objectives are finalized, details and resources will be listed on our website. These steps will take time to get right, and we continue to value your feedback along the way.
Published online July 24, 2020.
Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.
1. Westby A, Okah E, Ricco J. Race-based treatment decisions perpetuate structural racism. Am Fam Physician. 2020;102(3):136–137. Accessed August 7, 2020. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2020/0801/p136.html
2. Dianat S. Medical content should be equitable and inclusive of diverse populations. Am Fam Physician. 2019;99(11):664–665. Accessed July 23, 2020. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0601/p664.html
3. Sexton S. 70 years of American Family Physician. Am Fam Physician. 2020;101(7):389–390. Accessed July 23, 2020. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2020/0401/p389.html
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This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.
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