BOSTON (CBS) — A Massachusetts General Hospital doctor believes she was the victim of racial profiling while she was on a Delta airlines flight.
The list of Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford’s credentials goes on an on. “I’ve completed residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics,” she said. “Then completed a three-year obesity medical fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.”
Her credentials were called into question on board a Delta flight with a connection to Logan using its partner, Republic Airlines when she was trying to help someone in distress.
Stanford said she was helping a passenger who was shaking uncontrollably from a panic attack, when she says an attendant asked, “‘Are you a medical doctor?’ and I said ‘absolutely’ and then I immediately hand her my medical license,” Stanford.
Then a second attendant approached. “She says, ‘Can I see your medical license?’ I’m like absolutely.”
Then they both came back with more questions. “’Are you really an M.D., so this is your license?’ I said why would this not be my license?” Stanford said.
Dr. Stanford feels certain all the questioning was because she is a black woman.
Delta changed its policy two years ago no longer requiring medical professionals to show their credentials before helping passengers in need. She later posted on Twitter about the experience, prompting hundreds of responses.
Delta sent WBZ a statement, saying in part: “We thank Dr. Stanford for her medical assistance on board and are sorry for any misunderstanding that may have occurred. Delta also said it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
“I really can’t think of anything I could have done any differently to make this any better,” said Dr. Stanford. “I do think that raising my voice and making sure people recognize this issue and how pervasive it still is in our society, is of significant importance.” And making sure that future patients get the help they need without so many questions for the doctor.