March 25, 2021 – One of the leading research journals in the United States has placed its editor on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a controversial podcast episode that critics called racist.
The American Medical Association’s Joint Oversight Committee announced that Howard Bauchner, MD, is on leave as of the end of the day. Bauchner is the best editor of JAMA, the journal of WADA.
“The decision to place the editor on administrative leave does not imply or exonerate individuals and is standard operating procedure for such investigations,” the committee said in a statement.
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for an investigation to JAMA on the February podcast, titled “Structural Racism Among Physicians: What Is It?”
Already, Edward H. Livingston, MD, the host of the podcast resigned as deputy editor-in-chief of the journal.
During the podcast, Livingston, who is white, said, “Structural racism is an unfortunate term. Personally, I think removing racism from the conversation will help. Many of us are offended by the idea that we are racists. “
The audio for the podcast has been removed from the JAMA website. In its place is the audio of a Bauchner statement. In his statement, which he released last week, he said the comments on the podcast, which also featured Mitch Katz, MD, were “inaccurate, offensive, hurtful and inconsistent with JAMA standards.”
A tweet from JAMA promoting the podcast episode has also been deleted. The tweet read: “No doctor is racist, so how can there be structural racism in healthcare? An explanation of the idea of doctors for doctors in this user-friendly podcast. “
This story will be updated.