CSA Online First

CSA Online First is a weekly blog featuring insights from CSA members themselves.

Edited by Rita Agarwal, MD, FAAP, with contributions from CSA’s Committee on Professional and Public Communications, Online First is a place where knowledge and opinion from any one of our 3200 plus physician-anesthesiologist members can be shared, discussed and deliberated to advance the specialty of anesthesiology, the practice of medicine and society in general.

"Better solutions to difficult problems are usually made when all sides are heard."

Steven Goldfien, MD


Film Review: Black Men in White Coats

  • Johnson, Calvin, MD
| Jun 15, 2021

In honor of Juneteenth on Saturday June 19, the CSA's leadership and Committee on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will be hosting a free screening of "Black Men in White Coats" from Friday, June 18 to Sunday, June 20. Access your passcode here: https://indiescreening.com/screenings/1007

This will be followed by a discussion on the film with Dr. Calvin Johnson on Monday, June 21 at 6:30 pm. Register here.  

Calvin Johnson"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane "

Why do we need more black men in white coats?
It is simple more black men will die otherwise.

This documentary dissects the systemic barriers preventing black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences on society at large. Less black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978 and black men have the lowest life expectancy in the United States. With only 2% of American doctors being black men, medical schools share some of the responsibility. While they are not solely responsible, they can be helpful in ameliorating the problem. 

Why is it easier to visualize a black man in an orange jumpsuit than it is in a white coat?  

The documentary interviews physicians both black and white, male and female, as well as ordinary and extraordinary people to address this crisis. These include Jerome Adams, MD, the first anesthesiologist Surgeon General, Quin Capers, MD, and William McDade, MD, the ASA’s Chief Diversity officer.

Jerome Adams, MD:
"Your zip code is more important than your genetic code in terms of your health." 

"The choices people make are 100% dependent on the choices they have around them."

William McDade, MD, ASA Chief Diversity Officer:
"4.4% of all American residents are African American -  2.9% are women, 1.5% are men." 

"Physicians who are African American can be lost at every stage of the process."

One common refrain throughout the documentary is "You can't be what you can't see" these filmmakers seek to change that, by putting on a Youth Summit for school aged children, using social media, @TeamBMWC #teamBMWC #BlackMeninMedicine, writing a book (How to Raise a Doctor), and making this documentary. 

Cedars Sinai Medical Center embraced this and had three screenings (2/9; 2/10; 2/11) for the entire medical community and its affiliates. Dr. Johnson provided the video introduction for each of the three Cedars Sinai screening sessions. 

The links to the movie trailer and introduction to the movie are below. 

Black Men in White Coats (BMWC) Movie Trailer  

Calvin Johnson, MD - Video of introduction to BMWC  

Additional information on the organization can be found here

Please watch this thought provoking, compelling, depressing, and ultimately hope inspiring film.

Access the free screening from June 18-20 by clicking here.

And don't miss out on the CSA's discussion of the film on June 21. Register here.

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