Breaking: Delta Releases Statement Regarding Alleged Discrimination Against Black Female Doctor

Yesterday we reported on an incident that took place on a Delta flight. A flight attendant purportedly refused a female, black physician’s assistance, when she offered help with an unresponsive passenger. Dr. Tamika Cross, the physician in question, wrote a Facebook post about her experience.

An excerpt of Dr. Tamika Cross' Facebook post

An excerpt of Dr. Tamika Cross’ Facebook post

The story went viral over the past few days, and Delta’s Facebook page has been flooded by visitors’ posts regarding the incident. Delta has now released an official statement regarding the specific incident:

Delta continues to investigate a story surfaced by Dr. Tamika Cross in a recent post on Facebook.

We are troubled by any accusations of discrimination and take them very seriously. The experience Dr. Cross has described is not reflective of Delta’s culture or of the values our employees live out every day. We are in the process of conducting a full investigation. We’ve reached out to Dr. Cross to speak with her directly, talked with our crew members and we’re reaching out to customers who were on board to gather as much information as we can.

While there is much we can’t share because our investigation involves confidential personnel matters, we do want to share what we can.

Three medical professionals identified themselves on the flight in question. Only one was able to produce documentation of medical training and that is the doctor who was asked to assist the customer onboard. In addition, paramedics met the flight to assist the customer further.

Flight attendants are trained to collect information from medical volunteers offering to assist with an onboard medical emergency. When an individual’s medical identification isn’t available, they’re instructed to ask questions such as where medical training was received or whether an individual has a business card or other documentation and ultimately to use their best judgment.

Delta’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect of all of our customers worldwide is rooted deeply in our company’s values and culture. As a global carrier with a diverse workforce, serving a diverse customer base, we are committed to treating all passengers with kindness and respect.

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  1. “[Insert any company here] commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect of all of our customers worldwide is rooted deeply in our company’s values and culture. As a global carrier with a diverse workforce, serving a diverse customer base, we are committed to treating all passengers with kindness and respect.”

    This statement means diddliesquat and it’s the same tripe that duplicitous, lying, thieving politicians say. Is it supposed to be used as a shield from critics? Whether the statement is said or written, does it really matter?

  2. I don’t like the use of the word “discrimination”. That implies a benefit was denied to someone based on their race/creed/religion etc. Obviously that doesn’t apply in this situation.

    I’m not defending Delta, if what happened did indeed happen it was really bad on their part, but I think the D-word doesn’t apply this time.

    • Hi Charles! Thanks so much for your comment—I debated on the verbiage, especially since the course of the exact situation remains under investigation. Ultimately, I chose to use the same language that Delta employed in their statement’s headline.

  3. And what if this was a case of “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV” and the individual being treated dies? Think Delta might be on the hook for millions in damages? What crap.

    • Obviously you are uneducated she had a hospital I’d card which probably had her picture with on it. Any adult with at least an 8th grade education should be able to fiqure that out.

  4. Indirectly related.
    I was under the impression that a prefix, Mr., Mrs., Dr., or title, was required to be on an airline ticket. of course if you choose not to travel without that in your profile it just rendered my point moot.

    • Lots of people other than medical professionals use the title Dr., and rightfully so. For example, anyone with a PhD (typically college professors or researchers) can use the title, even though their degrees may be in fields that have nothing to do with medicine. So a Dr. prefix on an airline ticket would not be a reliable indicator of medical expertise.

    • Because OB/GYN’s are not REAL doctors and can’t do anything except for birthin’ babies, right?

      You may want to display a little less ignorance about the training MD’s go through.

  5. Are all you people serious right now?? This is what is wrong with our country, our people are so hypocritical it’s disgusting. It’s not “breaking” news because it didn’t happen to white people?? Please, give a flippin break, if a white doctor was skipped over on a plane where a person needed care, it would be all over FOX news & you hypocrites know it. You ALL are the problem. Instead of building a wall or deporting we need to get rid of you hypocrites, we don’t need anymore jackasses, we got enough as it is.

  6. I am a 73 year old white male retired diamond medallion physician[radiologist] who has logged over 2.000, 000 air miles over the past 50 years. On multiple occasions on multiple airlines I have responded to a request for a physician or doctor on board for assistance realizing that if a more clinical physician [internal medicine, er, family practice, etc.] was available that I would function only as a backup to their more appropriate medical background. There have been times when no other physician responded and I did render assistance to the ill individual and consultation to the flight crew about options [whether the pilot had to land the plane to get prompt attention to the individual]. In none of those incidents did anyone ever question if I was a physician or ask to see my credentials…..I guess because I am white male who appropriately fits the appearance expected for a physician. Let’s be honest that there are inherent prejudicial stereotypes in our society that need to be broken down and that a black female physician is certainly one of them. The flight crew was probably responding with this subconscious prejudice in both instances, not necessarily malice. Saying that there are nurses taking care of the passenger [whom I am sure they did not ask for credentials] and putting aside a physician willing to help reflects this. The fortunate part of this is that both passengers seem to have survived……the real issues problematic issues are if the ill passenger did not survive and that these two physicians probably will not respond as readily in the future when their help might save a life.

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