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JAMA's Bauchner to Step Down

Howard Bauchner is leaving his role as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association and the JAMA Network, the AMA has announced.

Bauchner was placed on administrative leave following a February JAMA Network podcast that questioned whether there is structural racism in healthcare. In March, MedPage Today reported that in the since-deleted episode, Edward Livingston, then the deputy editor at JAMA, said 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." The New York Times added that the episode was also promoted with a tweet that said: "No physician is racist, so how can there be structural racism in healthcare?"

As Buzzfeed News notes, this led to a backlash, and some researchers vowed to boycott JAMA. Livingston resigned from his position and Bauchner was placed on leave pending an investigation. Now, the AMA says Bauchner will be leaving his post at the end of the month.

"I remain profoundly disappointed in myself for the lapses that led to the publishing of the tweet and podcast," Bauchner says 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."

AMA Executive Editor Phil Fontanarosa is serving as interim editor-in-chief.