#WhatADoctorLooksLike: Airline Changes Policy After Black Doctor Banned From Helping Patient

Tamika Cross racist flight

Tamika K. Cross, MD/Photo: LinkedIn

Back in October 2016, Dr. Tamika K. Cross, a doctor who just happens to be a Black woman, was denied the opportunity to help save a passenger’s life on Delta flight DL945 after a flight attendant refused to believe that Cross was, in fact, a real doctor.

MUST READ: What Should A Doctor Look Like?

“I’m sure many of my fellow young, corporate America working women of color can all understand my frustration when I say I’m sick of being disrespected,” Dr. Cross began a lengthy Facebook message detailing the horrific experience. Unfortunately, her experience is all too common for us.

How’s this for credentials: According to Dr. Cross’ LinkedIn profile, she is a Resident Physician – Obstetrician and Gynecologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). She received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) designation from Meharry Medical College and a Bachelor of Science in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science from University Michigan.

In a sentence, Dr. Cross was more than qualified to assist in a medical emergency.

Since then Delta has been the talk of social media and sparked a movement by beautiful Black women showcasing that yes, they too are doctors.

And finally, Delta has heard them and changed a policy too.

As of Dec. 1, the airline has stopped requiring medical professionals to furnish credentials before assisting passengers.

“When situations like the one described by Dr. Cross arise, we have a responsibility to our employees and our customers to review the circumstances and our policies for opportunities to listen, learn and improve,” said Allison Ausband, senior vice president for In-Flight Service in an official statement.

Tamika Cross Delta flight

Dr. Tamika Cross/Photo: Facebook

Immediately following the incident, Delta put out a statement saying that the airline’s policy was to request medical credentials before allowing a sick person to be treated in-flight. Cross did not show her credentials, but another passenger did, the airline said.

But when was the last time you saw a doctor pull out his or her medical badge/card before saving someone–anywhere? I’ll wait…