A Massachusetts doctor is speaking out after accusing Delta Air Lines of racial discrimination.
Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an African American physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, said she was helping a passenger when her medical credentials were questioned by several flight attendants, even after she showed the flight attendants her medical license.
"I'm the only person in the country, currently, who has done residencies in internal medicine, pediatrics and a three-year obesity medicine fellowship," Stanford told NBC10 Boston Monday.
However, Stanford said flight attendants last Tuesday did not believe she was a doctor while she was helping a distressed passenger next to her.
Stanford said she gave the first flight attendant her medical license, unprompted, so that there wouldn't be any question about her qualifications.
"Flight attendant number one, she approaches me and says, 'Well, are you a doctor?' And I said, 'Yes, I am,' and I just immediately hand her my medical license," Stanford recalled.
The doctor said another flight attendant also asked to see her medical license before both questioned her experience and whether the license belonged to her.
Stanford believes her treatment is due to the fact that she is an African American woman.
"My white male colleagues ... stated they've never, ever been asked to show credentials of any kind," she said.
Soon enough, Stanford's tweets and story made national headlines.
Shilpa Pherwani is the CEO of IBIS consulting, which helps companies provide diversity and bias training.
"It's great to do these kind of trainings," she said. "We do that a lot, but we also feel that it needs to go deeper. We have to talk about real issues related with racism, sexism."
Delta has apologized to Dr. Stanford. The company also clarified that the plane Stanford was on during the incident was operated by Delta Connection carrier Republic, which has different policies.
"Delta does not require medical verification and will secure a professional's help based on the volunteer's statement that he or she is a physician, physician assistant, nurse, paramedic or EMT," the airline said in a statement.
That policy has been in place since 2016, when another black female doctor accused Delta of discrimination.
Stanford said she will not be flying Delta anymore.
"I'm disappointed with Delta," she said.
Delta also said it is working with its partners, including Republic, to make sure they all have similar policies and all passengers are treated the same.