Words cannot describe the sadness and anger that I feel and that our executive committee shares at the massacre that took place in New Zealand. It’s horrible that in the United States we have witnessed this type of violence perpetrated in a Sikh gurdwara, in the Pittsburgh Synagogue, in the black Church in Charleston, and we are all seeing it at the Christchurch mosques in New Zealand. As physicians, we treat the consequences of senseless violence and understand the potential that terrorist acts have to create further panic in our communities. To our Muslim colleagues and our patients, our hearts and minds are with you.

We will not, and cannot ignore the violent impacts of racism and xenophobia here or abroad; and we reject all attempts to use this tragedy to create more political divisiveness. I’m proud to be a part of a diverse family of residents at CIR and I want to remind you all to reach out to each other in these difficult times, and reach out to your hospital CIR leaders for information on mental health services that may be available to you.

Most of all, I want to remind you all that now is the time for compassion, empathy and understanding–not more fear and threat of violence.

Dr. Jessica Edwards, President CIR