12/10/2014 07:29 pm ET Updated Dec 14, 2014

#WhiteCoats4BlackLives: Health Care Workers Stage Nationwide Protests Against Police Brutality

Medical students from more than 70 schools on Wednesday protested racial profiling and police brutality through the social media initiative #WhiteCoats4BlackLives.

Hundreds of medical students wore white coats at “die-ins” and other protests on campuses to spotlight racial bias as a public health issue.

The medical students joined others who have demonstrated since grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City declined to indict white police officers in the killings of unarmed black men. Some of the protests have involved students, including those in high schools, colleges and Ivy league schools.

Pictures that circulated Wednesday showed medical students holding signs that read, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” and “We Can’t Breathe” -- rallying cries for those protesting the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York.

The effort was endorsed by Students for a National Health Program, an affiliate of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of more than 19,000 medical students and professionals that advocates for improved universal Medicare.

“We as medical students feel that this is an important time for medical institutions to respond to violence and race-related trauma that affect our communities and the patients we serve,” says a statement on the organization’s website.

“We feel it is essential to begin a conversation about our role in addressing the explicit and implicit discrimination and racism in our communities and reflect on the systemic biases embedded in our medical education curricula, clinical learning environments, and administrative decision-making.”

Here are photos from medical students in the #WhiteCoats4BlackLives protests Wednesday:

This article has been updated with additional protests not included in the original article. The headline has also been updated to reflect that the protests were not attended exclusively by medical students.

Medical Students Stage Nationwide "Die-In"


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