The editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association announced his resignation Tuesday following an outcry over a tweet and podcast that questioned the existence of structural racism in medicine. Dr. Howard Bauchner had been on leave since March during an investigation of remarks made by deputy editor Dr. Edward Livingston, the New York Times reports. A tweet promoting the podcast claimed "no physician is racist." "I remain profoundly disappointed in myself for the lapses that led to the publishing of the tweet and podcast,” Bauchner said in a statement. "Although I did not write or even see the tweet, or create the podcast, as editor-in-chief, I am ultimately responsible for them."
Critics accused JAMA of ignoring a huge amount of evidence of structural racism in medicine and said the journal had failed to diversify its staff or focus on inequalities in medicine, BuzzFeed reports. Bauchner's resignation "was a goal for some people. It wasn't mine," tweeted Black cardiologist Dr. Raymond Givens, a prominent critic of the lack of diversity at JAMA and other medical journals. "My goal isn't about a person but about societal change. I don't see this as a cause for celebration but a call to get to work." He tells the Times it will take more than appointing a new top editor of color to fix the issues at JAMA. Givens says he wants to see a new editor-in-chief "who is willing to take a stand, push to move things forward." (Read more JAMA stories.)