Farewell to Exclusivity and Tokenism


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


Yesterday, I was un-invited to an ACA event that day–apparently, Issued too many invitations and my presence irrelevant–Invitation one month ago and a second confirmation of attendance over 1 week ago….

I am disappointed!   This event attended and presented by the same people (and their protégés) is the biggest problem in medicine affecting medical care for everyone– perpetuating  vicious cycles of failed programs and ideas– The problem of  Exclusivity.  Exclusivity and diversity do not complement or work well with each other.   This mutually unique opportunity for  networking and leadership was  denied.    The problem with exclusivity is ACCESS.  Yesterday, I was denied access….unfortunately, this occurs often to people of color.  #POC

Harvard School of Public Health  did not practice what it preached.  I was prepared to teach  them:  Impart wisdom to the decision makers with formal authority.  Did they  not know physicians are important stakeholders?

Did they forgot my contributions to HSPH   during my first 4 months?

Did they  understand  how physically and emotionally ill I felt on returning to HSPH   following a 17 hour nightmare of cruelty and denigration  at Tufts Medical Center Emergency Department?

This culture says, who cares?  Diversity is paramount to appreciation and comprehension of   health.  Diversity begins with acceptance and comprehension of language.  Language is the means we use to communicate  thoughts, experiences and ideas –our cultures.  It is no measure of health when everyone has to adjust to a society that is profundly sick.


The mindset of  medicine and public health is not diverse but rather stifling and very biased.  The  same voices in different roles. Essentially, the same actors and a few selected actresses wear different hats and hold all key positions of FORMAL authority.    This is called change and leadership.

Medicine does not value diversity and that is reflected in its culture and Continued Failure to Listen….resulting in lack of diversity along with increased morbidity and mortality of excluded groups.


Below is a letter that marks the end of my affiliation with medical care.

I will not attend this conference or any other claiming to care for patients when real patients are not represented and ….

Will there be People of Color presenting? The images do not show anyone like me. Last year I attended and enjoyed the conference but felt frustrated and disappointed by the lack of depth and diversity.

As I suspect the same, I will pass my ticket onto a colleague who is more your target. It is shameful medicine ( I will not say healthcare because there is nothing healthy or caring about our current system) remains exclusive even to the point of patient advocates.

I can’t be part of this atmosphere of exclusivity and tokenism.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.




When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely – the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears- when you give your whole attention to it. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti



Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

11 thoughts on “Farewell to Exclusivity and Tokenism

  1. Angela, I know something of how you feel – not in the deeply felt personal terms of race, of course – although it does enrage my heart in that sense.
    I was disinvited to a journalism conference at which I had been invited to speak by the Society of Professional Journalists. The invitation was extended to me by the Society, but was quashed by a well-known professor of journalism ETHICS named Charles Davis the DAY before I was To speak Davis is a friend of the high-powered “free press” attorney Lucy Dalglish, who committed criminal malpractice in a successful campaign to defame and silence me, That turned out to be the last chance I had to be publically heard. Not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t break in some way over this.
    And my heart goes out to you, my sister.

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thank you for sharing…Your story inspired me to post this today. Claire, they have not silenced your voice…. and NEVER give them that power.

      Continue to write as YOU have been…..Someday our blogs will be the most reliable sources people read for REAL news about REAL issues affecting REAL people from ALL groups.

      I looked the two names up….People appear to value junk being sold by traditional media. Keep writing and make that book a great one….to help others in similar predicaments.

      Claire what advice would you give other journalists facing similar hostility and subterfuge from people like Lucy Dalglish and Charles Davis?

      1. Hmm…I have to think about it, Angela. Right now, I frankly don’t know if I’m going to make it- for a lot of reasons, including untreated diabetes, untreated spinal stenosis, untreated degenerative disc disease, and denial of home health aide when my back prevents me from movement. I live in New Mexico, where 200 pound 10 – 12 year-old Indian children die of strokes, yet for centuries were the healthiest people in the world! I’ts genocide! I’ve met many people with cancer who are waiting to get to stage 3 so they can get treatment!
        As for me, I can’t get Medicaid to give me a cane, much less a walker – and as for an MRI, forget it – and I’m, like, 20 years too young for this! It sure aint Boston.
        Sorry to be so bitter. If I had had political support when I pleaded for it, I would have had a job – and health care when I needed it.
        Don’t worry, I’ll come up with some advice soon – and I’ll feel more hopeful and strong soon: I PROMISE!

        1. Claire, I am so sorry about your health. Health is important without it nothing matters. I wish there was something I could do to help. If you think of anything, please let me know and I will also. When letters, phone calls and meetings do not work….lawyers, guns and money will do the trick.

          This is getting ridiculous. You can’t get a cane, obese Native American children dying of strokes at age 10-12 and Harvard gets billions to determine the most expeditious way to help those in need.

          You are not bitter. You are justifiable angry.

  2. Don´t know much, but I do know that according to the U.S Census Bureau as of 2010 the African American population in the whole of the United States is of 12.6% in a country of 318,224,000 people. So may I ask, is the percentage of black people in your profession very high? Because that could be a factor as to why you got invited or not. Considering all the people they invite and the exclusivity in those who, of all universities, Harvard invites.

    1. It is just unheard of ….Why do you think prisons are comprised of 50% or more black people while black people are only 13% of our population?

      Keep in mind: Most arrests leading to incarceration of black people are not violent crimes. Most arrests are not crime-related and most arrests violate black people guaranted freedom under the constitution.

      1. I guess life in not perfect and we have to deal with it. But you seem like a strong woman that can handle it. Plus you´re a physician! In my mind I find it impossible to be able to study and then perform that type of job. Quite an accomplishment for anybody if you ask me.

        1. No I am just a BLACK thing in this lilly white world of justice.

          Quite an accomplishment to have nothing to do, black listed and treated like an animal without recourse. Yes I am a black lazy sloth thug….that is what they call blacks on some blogs here and elsewhere on the internet and in private conversation with your friends.

          May the nuanced genocide in Massachusets take me before something else does… My strength is my patience as I wait for my time like previous family members…hope I don’t get impatient. 🙂

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