Nearly 50 percent of physicians in training and medical students are women, according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Dr. Tamika Cross is one of those women. In 2013, she graduated with a Doctorate of Medicine from Meharry Medical College and is currently in her OBGYN residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, according to her LinkedIn Profile.
However, when a medical emergency occurred during a Delta airlines flight, Cross said her credentials and abilities were met with skepticism by a flight attendant.
In a Facebook post published on Oct. 9, Cross recounted the moment a passenger seated two seats ahead of her own, screamed for medical assistance after her husband became unresponsive. Cross wrote she “naturally jumped into Doctor mode” but was told to stay seated.
When the man’s condition didn’t improve, a flight attendant called for a physician on board, at which Cross raised her hand to get her attention.
“She said to me ‘Oh, no sweetie, put ur [sic] hand down; we are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you,'” Cross wrote. “I tried to inform her that I was a physician but I was continually cut off by condescending remarks.”
When an overhead page asked that “any physician on board please press your button,” Cross obliged, to the surprise of the attendant who proceeded to question Cross about her abilities.
“She said ‘oh wow you’re an actual physician?’ I reply yes. She said ‘let me see your credentials. What type of Doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?’ Please remember this man is still in need of help and she is blocking my row from even standing up while bombarding me with questions,” Cross wrote, adding she answered the questions posed to her.
Meanwhile, Cross wrote that a white male who claimed to be a physician approached them and was quickly rushed to the ailing man—no questions asked.
“She says to me ‘thanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials,'”she wrote. “Mind you he hasn’t shown anything to her. Just showed up and fit the ‘description of a doctor’. I stay seated. Mind blown. Blood boiling.”
The unresponsive man recovered with the help of both the white male physician and Cross, who was continuously asked for her input by the stewardess, Cross said.
For the remainder of the Houston-bound flight, the flight attendant profusely apologized and offered Cross sky miles, which Cross declined.
“This is going higher than her. I don’t want skymiles [sic] in exchange for blatant discrimination. Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right. She will not get away with this….and I will still get my skymiles [sic]….”
In response to Cross’s claims, Delta said it was investigating the incident.
“Discrimination of any kind is never acceptable,” said Catherine Sirna, a Delta spokeswoman told Epoch Times in an email. “We’ve been in contact with Dr. Cross and one of our senior leaders is reaching out to assure her that we’re completing a full investigation.”
Cross’s Facebook post had nearly 27,000 shares and 8,800 comments as of 4:44 p.m. Thursday.