Reflections on a Day of Violence

August 13, 2017

Hello everyone,

My Fitkin team probably didn't notice, but I spent much of Saturday distracted by the violence in Charlottesville.  What a stark contrast between the protestors' bigotry and hate and our work to comfort and heal. 

In Charlottesville this weekend, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and the KKK are marching to "take their country back."  On Saturday afternoon, someone rammed a car into a peaceful crowd, murdering one and injuring nineteen.  The government declared a state of emergency.

As the crisis unfolded, we tended to our patients.  A few decades ago, a team like ours wouldn't have existed at Yale.  One man, four women.  Two Chinese, two Jews, and one Colombian.  We wheeled a frustrated patient to the healing garden, soothed a frightened Puerto Rican woman in her native language, explored cultural competency on rounds, and fought a Byzantine legal system to keep a dying woman from going to the ICU.

I'm grateful that our residency values diversity, but Saturday's events show we can't take our beliefs for granted.  We need to live by our principles, fight for justice, and work every day to strengthen our caring community.

My smart, funny, hardworking team showcases diversity.  Maybe someday all of America will embrace diversity too.   As we reflect on this weekend's events, let's commit ourselves to open-mindedness and kindness, and let's hold our neighbors in Charlottesville in our hearts.  Let the days ahead bring them safety and peace.

In solidarity,
Mark

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on August 13, 2017