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  • Dr. Karen Gedney

What lesson did I learn from doctors and police?


As a medical doctor who worked in a prison for 30 years I saw doctors and the police/custody world at their best and their worst.  


Both doctors and police are good for individuals and society when they are oriented to help, serve and protect.  They are bad when they abuse the power they have and harm the individuals they are supposed to serve.


Doctors and police deal with far more trauma, tragedy and life and death decisions than the average person and that takes a toll on their psyche and relationships. That type of stress affects both groups and what they have in common is they tend not to ask for help in dealing with it.


Both groups to be effective need to have  good technical skills, good judgment and be ethical.   Skills and judgement can be addressed and improved, but I find that both groups have problems weeding out members who are not ethical and abuse their power.


In these times of COVID-19 and the protests over the tragic death of George Floyd by the police the country is torn over the difference between which groups are helped, served and protected and which groups are NOT -  and how much of that injustice is due to the abuse of power.


For centuries in the United States power has been in the hands of white men and at their best they have used it to not only benefit themselves, but society as well.  At their worst they have abused it and promoted and prolonged racism and sexism.  


Demographics are changing in our country and so will the power structure. It is my hope that every group that does wield power takes on weeding out their members that abuse it.  If not I believe a diverse society will do it for them.  

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Carson City, Nevada

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