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Black Doctors Accuse Sutter Health of Racism (video)

Several Black doctors have come forward with allegations of discrimination within Sutter Health, one of California’s largest medical providers. These claims suggest a long-standing issue of racial bias against Black physicians that spans decades.

New Lawsuit Reveals Alarming Details About Sutter Health! (video)

The Scope of Discrimination at Sutter Health

The issue first gained attention when a nationally renowned ophthalmologist at Sutter Health in Palo Alto filed a racial discrimination lawsuit. This lawsuit includes accusations from seven other Black doctors.

Recently, three more physicians have voiced their experiences of bullying, harassment, and humiliation, allegedly due to their race.

Experiences of Black Doctors at Sutter Health

Black physicians at Sutter Health report a toxic work environment where complaints about operational issues, such as unsterile instruments, were turned against them.

These doctors were often labeled as “difficult” or “disruptive” and were subjected to remedial actions unrelated to their competence or care quality. This pattern has persisted over the past 20 years, impacting doctors working in various departments.

Consequences of Discriminatory Practices

The discrimination has had severe impacts on the professional lives of these doctors, with some choosing to leave after decades of service.

For instance, Dr. Smothers, a physician with over 40 years of experience and former Chief Medical Officer at a Sutter hospital in Sacramento, left his position due to the discriminatory treatment.

Official Responses and Lack of Action

Despite these serious accusations, Sutter Health has consistently denied these claims. The organization maintains that it is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce.

However, the affected doctors argue that little has been done in reality to address or curb these discriminatory practices.

Broader Impact on Healthcare and Diversity

The ongoing discrimination not only affects the doctors but also the communities they serve, potentially exacerbating healthcare disparities.

A recent study indicated that greater representation of Black doctors in counties correlates with longer life expectancies for Black residents.


The allegations of racial discrimination at Sutter Health raise significant concerns about the culture within one of the largest healthcare systems in California.

The experiences shared by these Black doctors highlight the need for systemic change to ensure equity and respect for all healthcare professionals.


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