The Doctor, The Emergency And The Flight Attendant: A Depressing Ethics Tale With No Ethical Resolution In Sight

Was it race, gender, youth, all of them, or none of them?

Was it race, gender, youth, all of them, or none of them?

Tamika Cross, a young OB-GYN flying Delta from Detroit to Minneapolis,  heard flight attendants calling for medical assistance when a passenger  man two rows in front of her was found to be unconscious. Dr. Cross raised her hand, only to be told, according to Cross’s subsequent Facebook post on the incident, “Oh no, sweetie, put your hand down. We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel. We don’t have time to talk to you.”

Cross says she tried to  explain that she was a physician, but was “cut off by condescending remarks,” from the attendant. A moment later, when there was a second call for medical assistance and Cross again indicated that she was ready to help, the same flight attendant said, according to Cross, “Oh wow, you’re an actual physician?” She then quizzed Cross  about her credentials, area of practice, and where she worked. In the meantime, a white, middle-aged male passenger appeared, and Cross, she says, was dismissed.

On her now viral Facebook post, Dr. Cross concludes:

“She came and apologized to me several times and offering me Skymiles. I kindly refused. This is going higher than her. I don’t want Skymiles in exchange for blatant discrimination. Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right. She will not get away with this….and I will still get my Skymiles….”

What’s going on here?

Stipulated:

1. This was an emergency situation.

2. Dr. Cross sincerely felt insulted and treated with disrespect.

3. She also feels that she was the victim of stereotyping,, bias and prejudice.

4. Her account can be presumed to be an honest recounting of how she experienced the episode.

5. The Roshomon principles apply. We do not know how the flight attendant perceived the situation as it developed, and will never know, since the incident is already tainted with accusations of racism.

6. This was an emergency situation.

7. There is no way to determine what the flight attendant was thinking.

8. Despite all of the above, observers, analysts and others will be inclined see the event as confirmation of their own already determined beliefs and assumptions.

9. This was a single incident, involving a set of factors interacting in unpredictable ways.

Next, some ethical observations….

1.  The Golden Rule appears to have eluded Dr. Cross. The flight attendant deserves the benefit of the doubt, as Cross herself would want to have if the positions were reversed. She doesn’t know that this was “blatant discrimination,” though it might have been, and she is obviously inclined to take it that way. A passenger might have been dying, the attendant was stressed and panicked, and it is at least possible that she might have misunderstood what Cross was trying to convey. If Cross’s quote is accurate—“We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel”—that suggests to me that she assumed Cross was a student or volunteering to help. Biased or not, who isn’t accustomed to seeing young black women serving as “nurses or some type of medical personnel” even if one is unable to envision such an individual as a doctor?

2. Cross says that the white, older male doctor wasn’t asked for his credentials, but Delta says otherwise. We don’t know, and presumably Cross doesn’t know, why he was designated as the emergency physician. She is an OB-GYN; maybe he was a neurosurgeon or a general practitioner. Maybe bias was involved, and he just “looked like a doctor.” Maybe, as older men are wont to do, he just pushed his way to the front of the line. Cross doesn’t know, and we don’t know. Not knowing, it is unethical to presume racism.

3. Dr. Cross leaped to the assumption most disrespectful to the flight attendant, because she was white. She also calls the attendant a “heifer,” an insult based on her appearance. She does not accept the attendant’s efforts to apologize. Instead, she is hell bent on vengeance, and announces her intention to play her alleged victimhood to maximum advantage.

I don’t like Dr. Cross very much, based on her conduct in this episode.

4. Although she ultimately concludes, “Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right,” Cross begins by writing,

I’m sure many of my fellow young, corporate America working women of color can all understand my frustration when I say I’m sick of being disrespected.

Thus she frames this at the outset as a racial incident, not knowing herself whether it was one.  Unfair. Irresponsible. Unethical.

5. Cross could have written,

“I’m sure many of my fellow young professionals can all understand my frustration when I say I’m sick of being disrespected.”

or

“I’m sure many of my fellow  corporate America working women will understand my frustration when I say I’m sick of being disrespected.”

She could have reasonably concluded, “Well, once again someone mistook me for a college student instead of a doctor. I guess this will stop happening eventually, and then I’ll look wistfully back on these days!”

6. Why didn’t she? She didn’t because accusations of racial discrimination are more sensational, newsworthy and social media-incendiary than accusations of gender bias or age bias, or because he natural inclination is to assume racial prejudice given any provocation.

7. But it got her publicity as a victim of pernicious discrimination. Delta is sure to grovel and give her the Skymiles she has pledged to acquire, because she framed this as a racial incident, though the only evidence of that is how she says she felt. Maybe the “heifer” will even lose her job.

8. Again, I’m sure she is sincere. However, the fact that she believed that this white woman was racially stereotyping her doesn’t prove or even suggest that this is what the flight attendant actually was doing. Like most African-Americans, Dr. Cross has been conditioned to see race as the reason behind every slight, every hostile look, every indignity and every failure. The fact is that the exact same thing could have occurred if she was a young white woman, or a young white man whose intent in raising his hand was misconstrued.

Finally, some ethics conclusions:

1. Does an individual who claims to have been racially discriminated against have a “right to be believed”? No. Therefore, the presumption of racism in an interaction between a white individual and a black individual is itself racist.

2. It is unfair to \come to any conclusions about the episode without hearing the flight attendant’s side of the story. Nonetheless, Colin Kaepernick would undoubtedly describe it as one more example of the nation’s “systemic oppression” of blacks, and take a knee during the National Anthem in support of Dr. Cross.

Confirmation bias has U.S. race relations by the throat, and if anything is tightening its grip.

3. Because this was a single incident, featuring ambiguous circumstances during an emergency, it is irresponsible to make any general conclusions about it whatsoever. Naturally, that’s what a lot of people and pundits, and especially social media participants, are doing.

4. The Washington Post article states,

Cross’s story calls up other incidents in which black professionals claim to have been racially profiled. Over the summer, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) made waves with a speech from the Senate floor in which he recounted being questioned by police because of his race. And in a now-famous confrontation, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested by a white police officer at his house in Cambridge, Mass.

Wrong, and incompetent. This incident has no clear relationship to those at all, so “calling them up” is misleading. Senator Scott was talking about racial profiling in traffic stops. Prof. Gates, we learned, was arrested because he was acting like a jerk and interfering with a police officer who was trying to do his job, because Gates applied his own bias and assumed he was being discriminated against.

Hmmm. Maybe Dr. Cross’s experience does “call up” that episode after all.

5. The Washington Post’s headline on the story is unethical and misleading. Flight attendant to black female doctor: ‘We’re looking for actual physicians’” suggests and is intended to suggest that the flight attendant knew Cross was a doctor, and didn’t consider any black doctor a “real” one. Click bait: shame on the Post. A national newspaper is tarring a flight attendant with the label of racist without speaking to her or fairly representing what she said. The Post owes the woman an apology.

Our U.S. society is currently incapable of interpreting this kind of incident objectively, honesty, dispassionately or fairly. The episode itself literally proves nothing about anything, except how these particular people interacted under these unusual circumstances. The aftermath, however, proves conclusively that a society where people choose to believe the worst about their fellow citizens, seek vengeance and the benefits of victimhood rather than being gracious and accepting apologies, and refuse to apply the Golden Rule and the benefit of a doubt when the alternative is magnifying distrust and division, doesn’t work.

 

59 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Facebook, Gender and Sex, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Professions, Race, U.S. Society, Workplace

59 responses to “The Doctor, The Emergency And The Flight Attendant: A Depressing Ethics Tale With No Ethical Resolution In Sight

  1. Chris Marschner

    “Our U.S. society is currently incapable of interpreting this kind of incident objectively, honesty, dispassionately or fairly. The episode itself literally proves nothing about anything, except how these particular people interacted under these unusual circumstances. The aftermath, however, proves conclusively that a society where people choose to believe the worst about their fellow citizens, seek vengeance and the benefits of victimhood rather than being gracious and accepting apologies, and refuse to apply the Golden Rule and the benefit of a doubt when the alternative is magnifying distrust and division, doesn’t work.”

    I agree. Now how do we fix it when you gain more as a victim than you ever lose.

  2. I reserve overall judgement without all the facts, but I do agree that focusing on ginning up racist claims when Tamika Cross clearly stated “Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right” is wrong!

    Not everyone reacts exactly how others want them too when faced with a possible life threatening medical situation, some amount leeway should be granted those directly involved with the emergency but leeway can only ethically go so far before some reactions are considered not acceptable; I know this first hand and alluded to it in another blog thread a couple of days ago talking to Spartan about a stopping a life threatening emergency.

    I hope some other passengers (multiple) decide to come forward and offer verifiable independent accounts as to what was actually said from a bystanders point of view. I think there is likely more to this incident than what we’ve heard so far; that’s almost always the case.

  3. MollyG

    Dear Mr. Marshall,

    What is your evidence that “most African-Americans . . . [have] been conditioned to see race as the reason behind every slight, every hostile look, every indignity and every failure”?

    Thank you.

    • How much time do you have? Racial discrimination and bias are blamed for criminal arrests and convictions, black unemployment, failure to advance in careers, firing for cause, not being cast in auditions, “microaggressions” (looks and tones of voice) aptitude scores, police shootings, awards. It is the default or last ditch explanation for every black public figure who encounters criticism, legitimate or not—OJ, Obama, Colin Kaepernick, Barry Bonds, Clarence Thomas, Eric Holder, Marylin Mosby, Kanye West, Charlie Rangel. It is blamed for flight attendant mistakes, or what could easily be mistakes. And more.

      And the problem is that a lot of the time racial bias IS the reason, and part of it, so a normal black citizen never knows if a bad experience or result is race-based or not.

      Luckily, I know that when I fail, it’s me. I can’t imagine how hard it would be always to have the nagging doubt that I have failed because of bias against my color.

      • Chris

        And the problem is that a lot of the time racial bias IS the reason, and part of it, so a normal black citizen never knows if a bad experience or result is race-based or not.

        Luckily, I know that when I fail, it’s me. I can’t imagine how hard it would be always to have the nagging doubt that I have failed because of bias against my color.

        Thank you for providing this powerful and well-written summary of white privilege.

        • The “privilege” of knowing you have to be accountable for your own fate? I could just as easily argue its a privilege to always be able to blame someone else.

          I reject the term because it dramatizes and attaches ethical values to reality. We all play the hands we are dealt. I got a pretty good one, all in all, but I’m not guilty about it, and when I meet a revered athlete who is adulated and paid many millions for half a year of work because he was born with extraordinary abilities and worked to develop them, I don’t sneer at him as “privileged.”

        • Rick M.

          No problem accepting the help of a white male. No request for credentials. Nothing.

          • Presuming the account of Dr Cross is accurate…

            This is rapidly becoming he said / she said.

            With the usual round of knee-jerks immediately assuming 100% accuracy of the “racially aggrieved”. Amusingly enough in these arguments no one EVER seems to take a stance on complete opposition to to this. It always seems to be the progressive side presuming malicious intent and the *other* side saying “hey let’s be unbiased and go with as balanced and methodical an approach as we can’t to determine what happened, or at best determine where we cannot proceed due to crippling biases.”

            Why does it always seem to be “social justice warrior” vs “objective viewer”?

            • Rick M.

              Progressive side? So what is the non progessive side? That you dismiss her? That no scent of race, sex or age is present? OK…how about ignorance, stupidy, foolishness and incompetence. I just found that a white male was readily acceptable. Then, again, maybe that should be dismissed since who can EVER believe a young, educated and black female.

          • That’s not what the airline says, though. They say he was asked about his credentials. There is no way Dr. Cross can know that he was not, she is just assuming that. It is a rather crucial point of dispute. I very much doubt that anyone in that situation can be just accepted without some vetting.

            Even Leslie Nielson had his stethoscope on…

  4. Rick M.

    They asked for help and she offered and was rejected. My assumption is the flight attendent could not quite grasp the concept that a young, Black and female could actually be a physcian. If any of the three are acurate for rejection then the real one to lose is the passenger in need.

    O am sure the attendent would be shocked to actually see a woman captain or FO up front.

    • Why would you assume that, when she also said “nurse”? There are young, female black nurses, and have been for centuries. That statement alone suggest that she misunderstood what Cross was offering.

    • Other Bill

      What? There are tons of women pilots flying commercial these days. How could a flight attendant be shocked to see a woman pilot flying for Delta. Here’s an article about Delta’s first female pilot.

      http://news.delta.com/delta-s-first-female-pilot-inspiring-girls-fly

      The article is from 2015. I suppose one might think that’s the date of their first female pilot hire. That would be wrong. Captain Joy Walker is 72 and retired.

      Frankly, I find the flight attendant’s alleged behavior unbelievable. I can’t remember ever encountering a flight attendant who wasn’t hardworking and professional. And really busy. Southwest’s attendants can be gratuitously snarky on the PA, but I suspect much of that is just scripted.

      • Rick M.

        A “ton” of women pilots? You are certainly naive to what exists with our legacy carriers today. Below is a ink to the “tons” you metioned. The figuire on ATP is under 4%. Also I have provided a link (also below) to a regional carrier – ASA – that had an all Black crew.

        My first, second and third reaction is the flight attendent was shocked that a woman, a Black woman and a young woman (in any combination) could actually go through medical school and become a doctor.

        https://www.quora.com/How-many-female-airline-pilots-are-there-in-the-US
        http://www.hiiraan.com/news2/2009/mar/first_all_black_female_flight_crew_flies_to_nashville.aspx

        • Why would you assume that? Does she watch television, where young black female doctors are everywhere? Is she from 1954 via time machine? The most reasonable assumption is that she assumed the youthful-looking doctor was a student, that race had nothing to do with it, and her apology was sincere and should have been accepted.

          • Rick M.

            I said three possibilities: One a woman, two she is Black and three she is young. I believe I also said in any combination of one or more.

            • JutGory

              There is another option. This is what I do not like about the story: we don’t get exact quotes. Jack said that Dr. Cross “heard flight attendants calling for medical assistance.” Dr. Cross raised her hand, only to be told, “Sweetie,” [we need actual doctors]. There is a lot missing here.

              If someone said, “we need medical assistance,” any good samaritan could volunteer. I have no formal medical training (not even CPR), but I think I remember Hawkeye talking Radar through a trachiotomy and I bet I could give it a whirl. If a trachiotomy is not necessary, but you need me to apply pressure to an open wound, I’m your guy.

              All we know about Dr. Cross is she raised her hand. I don’t see that she said anything. She could have said nothing; she might have said she worked in a hospital; she might have said she saw Hawkeye talk Radar through a trachiotomy. If I had been her, I would have raised my hand and said, “I am a medical doctor. What is the problem?” However, because we don’t have a full account, it is really hard to analyze this. However, the condescending “sweetie” suggests it was her age, not race, that was the basis of any prejudice. After all, black people can be doctors, young people (vague category, I know, because she was obviously old enough to get through many years of school) cannot be.

              Hmmm… maybe it was Klinger.

              -Jut

              • Rick M.

                I would certainly give her the benifit of doubt.

                • JutGory

                  Give whom the benefit of what doubt? I am not sure I am following you. The flight attendant might have asked for medical assistance, and then felt the need to clarify that she needed the help of a real medical professional because 12 people apart from Dr. Cross also raised their hands (we don’t know if that happened, because we only have 1 account and it is not complete).
                  -Jut

                  • Rick M

                    The doctor if I was a flight attendent.

                    • But Rick, a flight attendant can’t extend that benefit of the doubt. An airline faces major liability if it allows an unqualified person render medical care.

                    • Rick M

                      Of course…let them die rather than face a suit.

                    • Cheap shot. I could just as easily say, “let the passenger get killed by amateur medical treatment out of panic.” Rightly or wrongly, airlines are obligated to take reasonable precautions.

                    • Rick M.

                      Zoltar…you accused me of some type of emotional displacement and that is EXACTLY what you did. You also used terms that you applied to be without any substance to my character or anything else. That speaks volumes about you and not me. With your obvious view of the world, we should save our exchanges for a more suitable topic. I am always open to anything Clinton.

                      Here it is – once again – for those who need it summarized. The decision was made – and, yes, an assumption, but one which I would place faith in – that the flight attendant had concerned about her (1) age (2) credentials and (3) her color. One or all may have come into play. I honestly believe that one did.

                      Yes, Jack, it was a cheap shot and you 100% deserved it. I was taught to help and not consult a legal directory. In my 72 years, I have responded to three situations that were the type that needed action and not some concern over potential legal entanglements. All three had a positive outcome and on two it was a group effort. If I am ever in need I hope folks will respond likewise.

                      Jack, I found your reaction disturbing since it runs counter to everything I was taught. You are a master of ethics, but that one comment about the potential legal outfall brings into play the ethics of helping someone in distress. I would never consider that. Never!

                    • Wait—you are talking about individual ethics. I have also come to someone’s aid without regard for liability (and that is always a risk.)

                      But I am not an airline. Companies have policies, and employment requirements. And frankly, if I’m in peril, I still want those in control of the area I’m in to make a reasonable effort to make sure I don’t have someone who slept in a Holiday Inn the previous night do a tracheotomy.

                    • Rick M.

                      I guess, Jack, we will have to respectfully disagree. But – on a more important topic – I am all in for the Cubs, but if Cleveland gets in I will also be elated. Cubs number one and Wahoo number 1A.

                    • Rick M said, “Of course…let them die rather than face a suit.”

                      I’m not going to use all the 4 letter words I could to describe that full load of emotional #… ***…..^^!…. NO, I’m not going there, I’m not going there…; (breathe deep Zoltar….) I’ll just say that that’s a typical emotion based smear that a Liberal would make and you should be ashamed of yourself.

                    • Rick M

                      That is exactly how i see it. Lets do the legal tango when someone is in need. Your ire is misplaced.

                    • Rick M

                      A liberal? That is your real ire? I would not do the legal tango. Someone needs help i am suppose to call a. Lawyer? I guess if you are standing by just call an undertaker.I have been taught to help not consult with Harvard Law School.

                    • Rick M said, “That is exactly how i see it.”

                      That’s too bad; but all well, it’s your character that suffers by stooping to spewing those kinds of smears not mine.

                      Rick M said, “Your ire is misplaced.”

                      Not a change good buddy; my ire is dead on target.

                    • Rick M said, “A liberal? That is your real ire? I would not do the legal tango. Someone needs help i am suppose to call a. Lawyer? I guess if you are standing by just call an undertaker.I have been taught to help not consult with Harvard Law School.”

                      Cast your fishing line in another pond, I’m not biting.

                    • Rick M. said, “You also used terms that you applied to be without any substance to my character or anything else. That speaks volumes about you and not me.”

                      Whatever helps you sleep at night.

                      Rick M. said, “Here it is – once again – for those who need it summarized. The decision was made – and, yes, an assumption, but one which I would place faith in – that the flight attendant had concerned about her (1) age (2) credentials and (3) her color. One or all may have come into play. I honestly believe that one did.”

                      Interesting how you seemed to have overlapped what you just said as being what I replied to in this little segment. I replied to “Of course…let them die rather than face a suit” not those assumptions. Was it your intention to present this as something that could so obviously be perceived as a misrepresentation?

                      Rick M. said, “Yes, Jack, it was a cheap shot and you 100% deserved it.”

                      Interesting. First you openly admit to the “emotion based smear” that I specifically quoted and spoke of and then tried to justify it as deserving. You should be ashamed of yourself; at your age you should know better.

                      Rick M. said, “I was taught to help and not consult a legal directory. In my 72 years, I have responded to three situations that were the type that needed action and not some concern over potential legal entanglements. All three had a positive outcome and on two it was a group effort. If I am ever in need I hope folks will respond likewise.”

                      I commend your actions for responding directly when needed, more people should do that. You should talk to Spartan.

                      Another day Rick.
                      Cya.

                    • Rick M

                      Yawn…better than a sleeping pill.

              • crella

                ‘Sweetie’ as used by many Southern women is used towards someone much younger, like a daughter, that big an age difference. It’s not really condescending so much as cushioning a statement, or addressing someone whose name you don’t know. I am thinking that the attendant thought she was a student.

      • Other Bill

        Approximately five percent of commercial airline pilots are women. One in twenty. Not a huge number for sure, and evidently a longstanding issue, but no fight attendant would be shocked to see a woman on the flight deck.

    • Rick,
      Lot of assumptions in that comment. Wait for all the facts and stop making assumptions.

      • Rick M.

        Seems there are certain facts that have surfaced that make it rather questionable and it centers all around the flight attendant. Then – will we ever know the facts? Will they be santitized? You have someone offering help you accept it. Maybe the flight attendant also wanted transcripts, DNA, a stool sample and who knows what else.

        The real issue is the care neede for someone in distress. That was delyed thanks to a flight attendent who made some questionable decisions. If I was the one in need I would be totaaly PO’d over what happened.

        • More assumptions and innuendo; nice.

          Innocent until proven guilty is not just a phrase we utter when it’s convenient.

          Tamika Cross is making assumptions based on what “might be” a skewed perception of what happened (we don’t have all the facts yet); it appears that you’re just condemning the flight attendant based on hearsay and assumptions without all the facts. Why do you choose to believe Tamika Cross and not believe that the flight attendant was equally correct in her choices – doesn’t the flight attendant “deserve” to be equally believed?

          The fact is Rick, you weren’t there.

  5. Glenn Logan

    As if we actually needed it, this is more anecdotal evidence that racial minorities have a vested, personal interest in playing the race card, no matter how objectively racist that action may be. The young physician knows perfectly well that the media in this country will support that allegation regardless of what the truth is, and that the corporate heads of whatever corporation she levels a charge of racism against will actually validate her claim regardless of its actual merit with an apology, likely action against the object of her ire (the flight attendants), and some form of monetary compensation or its equivalent.

    If any of us were given such an easy path to all those things, I think we fairly have to admit we would be tempted. Also, in fairness to the young doctor, there is no doubt that racial bias still exists, and past episodes are constantly rehashed, so it’s honestly difficult for African Americans in particular not to see everything through a prism of racial animus. Of course, your analysis of the ethics of the situation looks right to me, so I’d like to believe I would reject such retribution were I in her shoes. But I’m not at all surprised she decided to take it.

    After all, we (and I mean the US body politic as a whole) have empowered racial minorities to use this method to assuage their frustrations whenever they please. No one can effectively gainsay a charge of racism anymore, least of all employees of a large corporation.

    • Glenn Logan

      Oh, and one other thing – does anyone really think a charge of age discrimination would carry the same weight? I doubt even a gender discrimination claim would mount much ire.

  6. Wayne B

    This is kind of a grey area for me. Delta is now requiring female physicians to have i.d. to provide emergency care to a patient. Guessing Doctor Cross’s age and her residency status, she must be about 26 and doctors, osteopaths and nurses get free tickets to travel somewhere for volunteering. There have apparently been cases of phony physicians volunteering to assist patients in life threatening emergencies. For that reason, for Dr. Cross to claim that she was disrespected is a bit of a leap in logic.

  7. Wayne

    Here’s one physician’s experience in handling in flight medical emergencies: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/04/medical-emergencies-at-40-000-feet/274623/

  8. So… what was the flight attendant’s side of the story? I would not condemn her even if it had been prejudice, just so long as she learned how to avoid making such mistakes in the future. It’s very hard to teach someone if you punish them for their current ignorance.

    Has it ever occurred to any of the people who are complaining that maybe they should calm down and listen before pronouncing judgment, and if a person is found wanting, they should carefully to the person what the mistake was? I predict that the complainers are insecure because they don’t know how to explain their position.

    • There is no way at this point to get an unfiltered, candid account by the flight attendant.

      • Probably not, no. The necessary precondition would be if she trusts people not to persecute her no matter what she said, or is committed to honesty so that she may better improve herself. I think if she expressed a desire to learn, people might accept an answer they otherwise wouldn’t, but they’d probably fumble whatever point they were trying to make to her anyway.

  9. Dorothy Coyne

    This flight attendant has brought disgrace to the whole flight attendant community.
    Where is your training and what basic education do you really have my dear.
    What made you make such a huge blunder and if you were not the chief crew I’d like the blame to shift to that person.
    Ethical dunce indeed! Ugggghhh!

    • Dorothy Coyne,
      You must have additional information that I haven’t seen to be able to categorically condemn this flight attendant the way you’ve done.

      Can you site word-for-word the entire conversation that transpired from the moment the flight attendant asked for a doctor the first time up until the attendant allowed the other doctor to treat the passed out passenger?

      Also while your at it; please share any conversations between the flight attendant and Tamika Cross prior to or after the incident.

      Lastly I’ll ask you the same question I asked Rick M. above…

      Why do you choose to believe Tamika Cross and not believe that the flight attendant was equally correct in her choices – doesn’t the flight attendant “deserve” to be equally believed?

  10. zoebrain

    https://melanininmedicine.com/2016/10/14/discrimination-30000-feet-above/

    Delta airlines again.

    The flight attendant asked, “Are you a doctor?” to which I replied “Yes.” My response only left a more puzzled look on the attendant’s face. She turned around and began to talk to another flight attendant. I stood there in bewilderment because someone on the plane was in need of medical assistance and no one was escorting me to the passenger in need. Finally, one of the Caucasian passengers who came to assist spoke and stated her and the other passenger present to assist were both nurses. Then she asked, “Are you a doctor?” to which I responded “Yes” …..again. She immediately responded “Well you need credentials to show you are a medical professional.” I gave a funny look but, remained composed and quickly quipped “I have my hospital badge which should be enough.” At this time the flight attendant turned around to address us again. She inquired from the two nurses what field of medicine in which they worked. At this point, I had grown annoyed. I had been standing for four minutes and had yet to see the passenger needing medical assistance. I grew even more perplexed as time passed. Why was the flight attendant addressing the nurses if a doctor is present and able to assist a passenger in need of medical attention? I interrupted the flight attendant’s discussions with the two nurses and stated, “I have my hospital ID badge which shows I’m a physician.” The Delta flight attendant continued to look puzzled then stated, “We have two nurses here who came first. You can have seat now and we will let them handle it. If we need more help we will come and find you.” Wait a minute- stop the presses! What just happened?!?! I advised that I was a doctor who was licensed to provide medical care. Instead of being escorted to the passenger in need of help, I was directed to return to my seat and told that the two nurses could take care of the situation.

    Black female doctor? Impossible, apparently.

    • Oddly enough, depending on the situation I would probably prefer a nurse over a doctor. Thoigh doctors have had the training in immediate medical emergencies, the nurses practice it daily and are probably infinitely more instinctive in its application. Doctors, by analogy, are the strategic planners of the medical world — its generals on high ranking officers. They examine and diagnose and prepare game plans for curing and solving disease. Or they handle the in depth surgeries. They they don’t encounter CPR needs on a daily basis or rapid responses on a daily basis. That’s where you need, by analogy, the soldiers and sergeants of the medical world – the nurses.

      Full disclosure- my wife is a nurse and I have gotten to see this in effect multiple times. The nurses generally were best for getting emergent crisis stabilized while doctors could manage the big picture and develop a permanent solution.

      • Maybe airlines ought to consider asking before flights for any medical personnel on the flight to, if willing, notify a flight attendant and show credentials at the start of flights as a just-case-measure and already be ahead of the curve for any emergencies.

        • texagg04 said, “Maybe airlines ought to consider asking before flights for any medical personnel on the flight to, if willing, notify a flight attendant and show credentials at the start of flights as a just-case-measure and already be ahead of the curve for any emergencies.”

          Damn good idea!

    • That recalling of the incident by the same person is a more than just a little bit different from what she said earlier. When specific details of the story seem to change, it causes me to wonder why such a difference?

      I want more information from others directly and not directly involved.

  11. Rick M.

    Orininally flight attendents had to be nurses.

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