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In white coats, doctors join Copley protest

Physicians protested the immigrant ban in Copley Square. From left to right: Doctors Aaron Stupple, Colin Phillips, Daniel Roberts, Rahul Ganatra, Daniel Kirshenbaum, Erin Truitt, and Amanda Westlake.Aaron Stupple

Among the protesters gathered in Copley Square Sunday was a group of physicians, wearing their white coats as public declaration that President Trump’s immigrant ban is especially concerning to doctors.

“We took an oath to take care of vulnerable people and support their health and well-being,” said Dr. Aaron Stupple, a hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This policy and this ban is an affront to that oath.”

Stupple said the protesters also are standing in solidarity with their Muslim colleagues. He said 7 percent of US physicians are Muslims, and that even before the ban they were “facing mistrust from their patients and colleagues.”


At 1:30 p.m., five physicians had gathered at the corner Boylston and Dartmouth streets, with two more expected, Stupple said.

“Many of our patients are refugees and immigrants,” said Dr. Daniel Kirshenbaum, also a Beth Israel hospitalist and one of the protesters. “We can’t just stand by. … It’s not just about protecting Americans but trying to bring the world to a better place.”

Kirshenbaum said that it makes him feel hopeful to see the Copley Square and beyond full of protesters. “I hope this continues and that people do this daily until things change,” he said.

Dr. Amanda Westlake, an infectious disease fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said that the immigrant ban “violates our values as physicians and our duty to protect vulnerable populations.”

Felice J. Freyer can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @felicejfreyer