Internists “Gravely Concerned” About Discrimination and Violence by Public Authorities and Others

Statement attributable to:
Heather E. Gantzer, MD, FACP
Chair, Board of Regents, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (May 29, 2020) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) is gravely concerned whenever any person is subject to discrimination, racism, harassment and violence, whether it’s by police and other public authorities, or by private individuals discriminating and committing violence against others because of their race or other characteristics. It is evident that African-Americans in particular are at risk of being subjected to discrimination and violence against them because of their race, endangering them and even costing them their lives. This should never be acceptable and those responsible must be held accountable. ACP has long held that hate crimes, prejudice, discrimination, harassment and violence against any person based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, or country of origin is a public health issue.  

The issue of how to ensure that policing does not result in discriminatory enforcement and violence is a multifaceted and complex one. While we caution against generalizing the egregious actions of some to all or most, a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to understanding and implementing solutions to discriminatory actions and violence against others is imperative, even as individuals who commit such acts and others with decision-making authority must be held accountable for their own actions. ACP is committed to contributing to solutions, from the standpoint of physicians and patients who see first-hand the consequences of discrimination, racism, and violence on individual and population health.

Further details on ACP’s positions can be found in ACP’s Position Statement on Recognizing Hate Crimes as a Public Health Issue, in ACP’s Policy on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, and in previous statements opposing harassment and discrimination. 


About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 159,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jackie Blaser, (202) 261-4572,