MSDC to Mayor: Thank You for Gun Violence Public Health Crisis Declaration

Mar 4, 2021, 16:23 PM by MSDC Staff
MSDC thanked the mayor for declaring gun violence a crisis and asked for more physician input in the solutions.

Today, the Medical Society of DC's leadership sent the following to Mayor Muriel Bowser:

March 4, 2021
The Honorable Muriel Bowser
Mayor of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Mayor Bowser, 
The Medical Society of DC (MSDC) is the largest medical organization representing metropolitan Washington physicians in the District. We advocate on behalf of all 11,000 plus licensed physicians in the District and seek to make the District “the best place to practice medicine”. 

On behalf of the Society, we applaud your administration declaring gun violence a “public health emergency” and creating the “Building Blocks DC” initiative. Physicians have been heavily impacted by gun violence in the District and across the country. In 2019, physicians were told to “stay in their lane” when discussing gun violence, and the community responded by engaging even more. MSDC itself issued a statement speaking out on why physicians should be involved in gun violence debates.

Physicians treat the victims of gun violence: those who suffer and die from the violence as well as those survivors and family members who suffer emotional and physical distress. Physicians themselves are high-profile targets of gun violence; recently the death of a pediatrician in Texas in a hostage situation where the physician never met her killer illustrates that physicians and healthcare personnel are perennial violence targets.

The Medical Society has one recommendation to the initiative, and that is to involve more physicians and healthcare employees in Building Blocks DC’s work. We are pleased to see Dr. Roger Mitchell leading one of the working groups, but physicians contribute a valuable medical perspective to how we can mitigate the effects of gun violence. The Medical Society can assist with this, as we have with many initiatives in your administration.

Please contact our office if we can assist, and again thank you for being a leader on this public health emergency.

EW Emanuel, MD
Susanne Bathgate, MD
Robert Hay Jr., CAE

CC: Linda Harllee Harper