In 2019, Dr. Aysha (i-sha) Khoury (koo-ree) was recruited to become founding faculty at Kaiser Permanente Bernard J Tyson School of Medicine. She developed case-based curricula, implementing flipped classroom and active learning pedagogies. She served as a small group facilitator and Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Champion and Workgroup member. On August 28, 2020, within hours of engaging her small group in a critical discussion on bias and racism in medicine, she was targeted, suspended, and ultimately terminated without transparency or due process. We begin the interview by discussing her termination, what she felt led to it, although with the lack of transparency, she still hasn’t been informed. We use this as a jumping off point to discuss allyship, or in her situation, lack thereof.
We then move on to why there is medical mistrust among minoritized communities, including a discussion on why we now use words like minoritized and enslaved. We finish with a discussion on how to address SARS-Co-V-2 vaccine hesitancy in the setting of justifiable medical mistrust. Her argument is that there is less hesitancy in the older population, so if we address the inequities in vaccination access, the older population will be able to influence the hesitations of the younger population.
Dr. Khoury grew up in Atlanta, GA and completed her medical degree there at Morehouse School of Medicine. After completing an internal medicine residency and working as a primary care physician, she returned to Morehouse School of Medicine to complete training in public health and preventive medicine and earned a Master of Public Health. After this, Dr. Khoury returned to the Southeastern Permanenete Medical Group and pioneered a new role there as a Clinical Decision Unit Internist. This encompassed work in quality management, process improvement, and evaluation of treatment outcomes. Committed to education and advocacy early in her career, she served as an adjunct clinical assistant professor and Admissions Committee Member at Morehouse School of Medicine, where she was later inducted in the White Coat Society for demonstrating compassionate care and community service.