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

by Enoch

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.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Reader October 14, 2016 - 1:04 pm

So just a standard response. How on earth is this “Breaking”??

Star October 14, 2016 - 2:13 pm

lol 🙂 this comment made me laugh like crazy!

Exactly! why is this even breaking? Maybe for some clicks?

Matt October 14, 2016 - 1:22 pm

“[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?

Charles (CMK10) October 14, 2016 - 1:30 pm

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.

Enoch October 14, 2016 - 1:34 pm

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.

Fred Reinders October 16, 2017 - 9:10 pm

Discrimination is asserted because the doctor is claiming I was not allowed to assist because of being black

The airline response appears to be: The doctor was not allowed to assist because she could not provide evidence of being a doctor AND a doctor with credentials was already available to help.

So cross claims
I, an unknown civilian, cannot assist in a medical emergency because I am a black woman doctor

We, the flight crew, refused to accept assistance from an unknown civilian claiming to be a doctor, who was unable to provide proof and had to settle for the assistance of another unknown civilian who did provide proof of being a doctor.

Personally, I believe that this was a clear case of discrimination against an unknown civilian … her offer was refused because she could not produce a medical license and she was passed over in favor of someone who could … this is clearly discrimination against doctors who don’t carry proof of license 😛

JBlow October 14, 2016 - 2:04 pm

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.

J S, LMSW just in case you don't undstand it means I have a Masters of Social Work and yes I'm Black October 17, 2016 - 5:09 pm

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.

DT October 14, 2016 - 2:12 pm

We need BDM now, obviously.

Tim October 14, 2016 - 3:28 pm

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.

Andrés October 14, 2016 - 5:07 pm

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.

Mark October 14, 2016 - 4:10 pm

well, turns out she was an OB/GYN…doubt she could’ve been of much help in any case 🙂

Dave October 14, 2016 - 7:57 pm

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.

John October 15, 2016 - 8:30 pm

OB/GYN are fully trained medical doctors. Your bias/ignorance is showing.

A 2nd Doctor Says Delta Would Not Let Her Assist w/ In-Flight Emergency, Skipped Over for Nurses - Point Me to the Plane October 17, 2016 - 10:44 am

[…] Related: Breaking: Delta Releases Statement Regarding Alleged Discrimination Against Black Female Doctor […]

Sarah October 18, 2016 - 5:13 am

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.

Arthur October 18, 2016 - 12:25 pm

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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