“Open Letter to Physicians:” Struggle Between Physicians And Civil Rights Brought To The Forefront

by Dr. Brenda Williams

Physicians must always remember to be respectful in our behavior on and off-duty in our clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, patient homes, and at other sites where we provide healthcare services.

Southern culture and lifestyle have been and still are revered by many in our community. Southern culture and lifestyle also have been riddled with discrimination, disenfranchisement, prejudice, and racism toward people of color...especially African-Americans.

It is shameful and extremely unfortunate that some of my physician colleagues in Sumter, South Carolina espouse openly and publicly, their beliefs and thoughts which entice and promote race-baiting and exclusionism.

The Prisma Health Tuomey Leadership Team must take concrete, corrective, and decisive actions directed at these aforementioned physicians in order to educate them and all staff, including all departments on the vital importance of civil rights and human rights, equality, and justice for all.

Lessons must be taught to instill in the minds, hearts, and souls of these "learned individuals" that times have changed from what they were accustomed to back in the "Good Ole Days" when "Jim Crow" flourished and was the law of the land.

Physicians, based on our academic training, are by history, detail-oriented, focused, and in-depth learners. Perhaps the education that all of us physicians received in medical school lacked the ability to relay the message that we are to treat our patients, other healthcare workers and everyone who does not look like us or live like us with attitudes that are void of prejudicial beliefs and thoughts.

It is vitally important that the Prisma Health Tuomey Leadership Team takes heed to the above message and gets busy with the resolution of this urgent matter!

Yours Sincerely,

Brenda C. Williams, MD

The Family Unit, Inc., a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable organization

P.O. Box 3339, Sumter, South Carolina 29153

Federal ID#: 26-3342684