June 03, 2020

ABA Statement on Racism and Public Health

We are deeply troubled by the recent events that have underscored social injustices endemic in our country. While the COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrated disparities in American health care, the murder of several African Americans (including one healthcare provider in her home by police) highlights the depth of this crisis. The American Board of Anesthesiology strongly condemns racism, intolerance and the institutionalized policies that have contributed to the present social and healthcare inequities.

Racism and intolerance, and the violence and trauma they encourage, represent a public health crisis that has been ignored for too long. We stand with those committed to addressing this crisis through peaceful protests and by speaking out. 

As an organization, our mission is to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. Equitable, high-quality healthcare, including anesthesia care, must be made available equally to all, regardless of their race, religion or sexual orientation. In recent years, we have focused our effort on ensuring that our volunteers, leadership and voice as a medical certifying board are representative of the diversity of the broader anesthesiology community. This is only a start. We are committed to doing our part to address the public health crisis propagated by social and healthcare inequities.