Tamika Cross took to Facebook to describe her account of what she believed was discrimination against her on a Delta flight heading to Detriot on Saturday.

Cross, an obstetrician-gynecologist, claimed there was a medical emergency on the flight, and when she volunteered assistance, her services were declined as the flight attendant opted for a white male doctor.


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Cross said she raised her hand when asked if there was a medical professional onboard the fight but was waved off after flight attendants told her they were “looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel.”

The female doctor informed them she was indeed a medical professional and was asked to provide her credentials. This happened as another passenger, a white male, approached the scene and was permitted to help without providing credentials. Cross said, “She [the crew member] says to me ‘thanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials.”’


Cross suggested that his “credentials” came from him being a white male, suggesting he looked like your stereotypical doctor to the crew. She said she was later asked for her assistance in the medical emergency despite the alleged  discrimination she faced earlier during the flight.

Delta has responded to the incident by launching an investigation into the events that transpired during the flight. The airline confirmed there was an ill passenger on that flight and said that three medical professionals identified themselves to the crew.


“Only one was able to produce documentation of medical training and that is the doctor who was asked to assist the customer onboard,” Delta says, adding that flight attendants “are trained to collect information from medical volunteers offering to assist with an onboard medical emergency.”

The airline further stated that flight attendants are asked to question anyone that cannot provide credentials upon request. Delta also said it is “troubled by any accusations of discrimination,” and has reached out to Cross as they continue their investigation.


It seems that her account struck a nerve with many on social media, creating the #beingadoctorwhileblack hashtag. Her post has spread like wildfire on Facebook and has been shared more than 38,000 times. While also inspiring other African-American doctors to post a picture of themselves at work or graduating from medical school.

Artemis Medical Society, an organization of black female physicians, sent a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian stating, “Delta Airlines, as an Atlanta-based corporation, should be acutely aware of the history of racism and sexism in our nation and how it continues to cast a long shadow in our society.”