Last week Dr. Tamika Cross shared a post that has gone viral on Facebook about how she was prevented from helping a man who needed medical assistance on a flight in America.
She was on a Delta flight when a man two rows in front of her became “unresponsive”. The flight attendant asked over the loudspeaker if there were any physicians on board at which point Cross offered to help but was “continually cut off by condescending remarks” from the flight attendant.
Cross clarified that she was a doctor. The flight attendant seemed reluctant to believe her, asking where she worked and what she specialised in, even going so far as to ask to see her credentials.
Then, an older, white man appeared and offered up his services (without having to provide his credentials to the flight attendant) and the flight attendant gladly accepted it.
It’s unclear if the flight attendant had an issue believing Cross was a doctor because she was a woman or because she was black – or both! – but either way it’s wrong.
Understandably, Cross took to Facebook to air her grievances (who wouldn’t?) where her post has been shared a whopping 48,000 times!
We asked betty’s Dr. Yaz if she had ever experienced anything similar as a young, black doctor. Sadly, she responded:
I get mistaken for a nurse all the time, by porters, patient and even other doctors. I’ve even been asked to produce my qualifications by one patient on a night shift.
Black women doctors took to Twitter with the hashtag #Whatadoctorlookslike to support Tamika Cross.
One women quoted Michelle Obama’s famous line: “When they go low, we go high.”
— Dr. SEA Initiative (@i_drsea) October 14, 2016
Another woman encouraged people to raise their expectations.
— marjorie michel (@mgmobgyn_michel) October 13, 2016
And others called out the sexism and racism involved in Cross’s treatment.
— Marleny Franco, MD (@MFrancoMD) October 14, 2016
We’ll leave you with some advice from our ever-wonderful and wise Dr Yaz:
Keep fighting the good fight. People wouldn’t believe any women were doctors at one point. We had to pretend to be men, or face protests and bullying by male colleagues at medical school.
So, if you want to be a doctor, don’t let anyone stop you. Especially not a sexist, racist flight attendant. You totally got this.