Top journal editor to resign in fallout over racism podcast

The embattled chief editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association is resigning amid a probe of his handling of a podcast on racism

The embattled chief editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association is resigning amid a probe of his handling of a podcast on racism.

Dr. Howard Bauchner’s departure takes effect on June 30, the AMA announced on Tuesday.

Bauchner joined the influential journal as top editor in 2011. He has been on administrative leave since late March, when Black doctors and other critics denounced a journal tweet and podcast about racism among doctors and in the medical establishment.

Bauchner later apologized and asked a deputy editor who hosted the podcast to resign. Meantime, the AMA launched an investigation. The nation’s largest doctors’ group gives editorial independence to JAMA and related medical journals it publishes, but an oversight committee can make dismissal recommendations to the AMA’s board.

“I remain profoundly disappointed in myself for the lapses that led to the publishing of the tweet and podcast,’’ Bauchner said in a statement. ‘’Although I did not write or even see the tweet, or create the podcast, as editor-in-chief, I am ultimately responsible for them.’’

JAMA’s executive editor, Dr. Phil Fontanarosa, will serve as interim editor-in-chief until a new editor is appointed, the AMA said.

Dr. Raymond Givens, a New York cardiologist who has called for more racial diversity among JAMA editors and in its medical research, said it remains to be seen whether Bauchner’s departure will lead to needed changes.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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