Dr. Tamika Cross, who is doing her OBGYN residency at a hospital in Houston, says that a Delta Airlines flight attendant did not believe that she was a doctor during an onboard medical emergency on a recent flight from Detroit.
Cross wrote on her Facebook page on Oct. 9:
[T]he flight attendant yells "call overhead for a physician on board." I raised my hand to grab her attention. She said to me "oh no sweetie put ur 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." I tried to inform her that I was a physician but I was continually cut off by condescending remarks.
Then overhead they paged "any physician on board please press your button." I stare at her as I go to press my button. 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).
I respond "OBGYN, work in Houston, in Detroit for a wedding, but believe it or not they DO HAVE doctors in Detroit. Now excuse me so I can help the man in need."
Cross recalled that a white man told the flight attendant that he was a physician, and the flight attendant told Cross, "[T]hanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials."
According to Cross, the white doctor did not show any credentials to the flight attendant, but "[j]ust showed up and fit the 'description of a doctor.'"
Cross said that the flight attendant soon started asking her for advice, which Cross gave even though she was very angry. Cross wrote: "The patient and his wife weren't the problem, they needed help and we were mid flight."
Cross wrote that the flight attendant later apologized and offered her free miles, but Cross said that she refused because she didn't want the free miles "in exchange for blatant discrimination."
Cross told NBC News that the flight attendant should undergo sensitivity training, and added: "Someone's life was on the line. Luckily, the man was okay."
Delta Airlines said in a statement that it is "in the process of conducting a full investigation," and added:
We are troubled by any accusations of discrimination and take them very seriously. The experience Dr. Cross has described is not reflective of Delta's culture or of the values our employees live out every day.
Sources: NBC News, Tamika Cross/Facebook / Photo Credit: Dwight Andrews/McGovern Medical School via NBC News