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JAMA Editor on Leave

Howard Bauchner, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into a JAMA Network podcast on structural racism in medicine, the New York Times reports.

In that February podcast, which has since been deleted, Edward Livingston, then the deputy editor at JAMA, said, according to MedPage Today, that "[s]tructural racism is an unfortunate term. Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help. Many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist."

As the Times notes, the podcast episode was further promoted on Twitter with the tagline of "No physician is racist, so how can there be structural racism in health care?" This, it and MedPage Today report, was met with a swift backlash, and Livingston resigned.

Some critics have pushed for a more thorough review of the editorial process at JAMA, sending both letters to the AMA and starting a petition, the Times adds.

"Hopefully, this signifies an increased effort to diversify the staff at JAMA, as increased diversity will provide additional viewpoints on issues surrounding ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status," Steven Bradley from the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and host of The Black Doctor Podcast tells WebMD.

The Scan

Close Panel Vote on Califf Nomination

The New York Times reports there was a close committee vote to advance the nomination of Robert Califf to lead the US Food and Drug Administration to the full Senate.

Task Force Reports on Scientific Integrity

Nature News writes that that a new task force report recommends that the US establish a cross-agency scientific integrity council.

Across the Hall

Genetic testing, closed-circuit cameras, and more show how a traveler, without any contact, infected others at a New Zealand quarantine facility, CNN reports.

Science Paper Examines Influence of Chromatin Modifications on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In Science this week: genes regulating chromatin modification may contribute to OCD risk.