Doctor's credentials questioned while helping sick person on plane

Yahoo! Lifestyle

A doctor’s credentials were questioned while she was helping a sick person on a plane.

Fatima Cody Stanford was on a Delta Air Lines flight from Indianapolis to Boston in the US recently, when the woman sitting beside her started to shake and hyperventilate.

Dr Stanford, a doctor and educator at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, intervened to help the passenger on Delta Flight 5935.

A flight attendant then asked if she was a doctor and she confirmed that she was, Dr Stanford told CNN.

However, the flight attendant asked her to prove it so Dr Stanford took a break from trying to stabilise the passenger to present her medical license.

The flight attendant reviewed the license then asked, “So, you’re not a head doctor?,” the Boston Globe reported.

Dr Fatima Cody Stanford was questioned while helping a sick passenger
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford was questioned while helping a sick passenger. Source: Twitter/@fstanfordmding

Dr Stanford said the Delta employee then recruited a second flight attendant, who also asked to see the ID. She said both continued to question her identity and qualifications.

Dr Stanford continued to tend to the sick passenger, who eventually told the doctor she was having a panic attack and felt claustrophobic on the plane.

The doctor, who is African American, said she believes the attendants’ reactions to her medical license were “100 per cent” racially biased.

The doctor accused Delta of racism, tweeting “#BlackWomenDoctors do exist.”

The airline apologised and tweeted, “Delta does not condone discrimination for any reason and we take your comments very seriously,” following up with an email to Dr Stanford.

However, Dr Stanford felt the apology was “underwhelming.”

The alleged racial profiling occurred on a Delta Air Lines flight
The alleged racial profiling occurred on a Delta Air Lines flight. Source: File/Getty Images

Delta has contacted the doctor and confirmed that an investigation is underway, according to the Boston Globe.

Delta Airlines told Yahoo7 that they are “following up with the crew” and confirmed that Flight 5935 was operated by Republic, a Delta Connection carrier.

The airline introduced a policy in 2016 stating it did not require medical credential certification after an incident in which another African American physician volunteered to help a screaming passenger in crisis, but was passed over because the flight attendant did not believe she was a doctor.

The incident comes after an elderly woman was racially abused on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona, Spain to London, UK.