Tamika Cross became a nationally recognized name in October when a man fell ill on a Delta flight on which she was a passenger. When Cross informed flight attendants that she was a physician, they dismissed her claim and instead said, "We are looking for actual physicians or nurses."
Later on, a male doctor presented himself and was allowed to assist the suffering passenger. Tamika Cross took to Facebook and wrote a post about how Delta did not believe she was a doctor. Although she was unsure if the reason was racially or gender motivated, her anger with the situation touched many people across the nation.
Delta issued an apology for the situation; however, many felt that their statement was not enough.
After several months of conversations surrounding the topic, Delta released an official statement that medical credentials would no longer be requested of any doctor trying to assist in an emergency situation.
“As part of the review, Delta found that there is no legal or regulatory requirement upon the airline to view medical professional credentials. And, as it becomes more and more common for medical licenses to be verified online, physicians and nurses often do not carry a license with them and some states no longer issue wallet versions.”
Additionally, Delta invited Cross to meet with executives at its headquarters. Cross visited the headquarters, along with Wayne Riley, a mentor and past president of the American College of Physicians. In the meeting, Riley told Delta executives that he had assisted with passengers in distress and had never been asked to produce credentials to prove he was a doctor.
Although this was a humiliating moment for Cross, she is happy that her experience could bring forth a much needed dialogue and could inspire such change.
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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