External Review into Anti-Black Racism within the College
The College recognizes that racism and discrimination exist in medicine and organizations associated with medicine. Early in 2021, the College engaged an independent, external task force led by Mr. Doug Ruck Q.C. to review the College’s operations through the lens of anti-Black racism. The task force was composed of African Nova Scotians selected by Mr. Ruck.
The task force has now completed its review and issued its report: From the Inside: An External Review into Systemic Anti-Black Racism Within the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia.
“The Report provides a framework for change. The College has unequivocally accepted its responsibility and understands that addressing anti-Black racism must be initiated from the top and be informed by those working for and with the College (while recognizing the need to increase the number of Black employees and representation on the Council) and by listening to voices from the African Nova Scotian community,” said Mr. Doug Ruck, the Chair of the task force.
In addition to reviewing College documentation such as terms of reference for its governing council and committees and internal operational policies, the task force interviewed and surveyed staff, committee members, physicians and members of the public. Written submissions from stakeholders were also part of the review.
“The College wishes to express its gratitude for the important work of Mr. Ruck and the members of the task force,” said Dr. Gus Grant, Registrar & CEO of the College. “We undertook this review in recognition that racism exists in medicine and in the regulation of medicine. This report provides the College with an essential roadmap to begin to dismantle systemic anti-Black racism from the College’s policies and procedures.”
Systemic anti-Black racism will not be addressed through the issuance of reports or by statements denouncing its existence absent specific actions to address the policies and practices historically embedded in the institution that perpetuate and reinforce the attitudes and practices directed at those of African descent,” said Mr. Ruck.
The report’s first recommendation is the establishment of an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to lead the development and implementation of an anti-Black racism strategy for the College.
“Addressing anti-Black racism is a long-term commitment of the College. We have already begun to lean into the report’s recommendations by way of staff training and recruiting Black Nova Scotians as members of our Council and committees. This transformational work requires that we listen to diverse voices around our decision-making tables,” said Dr. Gus Grant.
Director, Communications & Policy
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia