A plan by the nation’s largest doctors’ group to dismantle racism in the U.S. medical establishment does not go far enough, two local experts told GBH News.

The American Medical Association said the plan, released Tuesday, has been in the works for over a year. But the groups' leaders say that health inequities highlighted by the pandemic, ongoing police brutality and recent race-based crimes have given the effort a sense of urgency.

The AMA plans to diversify its staff and embed anti-racist activities and education throughout the organization. U.S. physicians are overwhelmingly white, and AMA leadership and membership tends to reflect that.

Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford chairs the minority affairs section for the AMA. She said that she’s happy to see the AMA finally taking a major stance on racism.

Often in hospitals themselves, anti-racist goals are set and leaders are named to carry them out, Stanford said, but white privilege and discomfort with challenging the status quo thwart real progress.

If you ask Black doctors that are present and working in those settings if they notice any change at all… that resounding answer is no," said Stanford, who's a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“Right now, as a black woman physician here at Mass General, but also as a black patient, I can tell you I haven't yet felt a major change — despite myself even holding some roles that are in this realm of equity," she added.

Stanford said that the inequities doctors of color like herself may face include lower pay and unequal advancement, especially in academic medicine. And as a black patient, she has felt unheard and devalued.

“There's been only a shift in the number of black doctors by 4% in the last 120 year," she said. "That speaks volumes to the lack of change that has happened. I think the fact that we have a a plan is reassuring. But will people really choose to meet the metrics, or will we put on a facade that says that we're meeting the metrics and then choose not to really do the hard work that needs to be done?”

Dr. Sharma Joseph is an anesthesiologist and critical care physician at Tufts Medical Center, where she co-chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She called the AMA report “a step in the right direction.”

Still, Joseph is wary. The report "lays out a broad set of goals that I think are quite lofty" but doesn't include "disruptive innovation to really dismantle the racism and the system that has existed within the AMA, and really medicine more broadly," she said.

One crucial piece that’s missing from the AMA’s road map, according to Joseph, is funding and publishing research on health equity.

“Then it may be implemented into medical school curricula,” she said, “such that just as medical students, for example, learn about the cardiovascular system, they now have a completely different module which is centered around systemic racism, social justice and advocacy.”

Joseph said she's sometimes felt lonely as a black doctor.

What I'm hopeful for is … that we can move closer to patients actually seeing providers that look like them and [that they] don't need to whisper in my ear saying, ‘Oh my goodness, I'm so proud of you. I have never seen a black physician before,'" she said. "I'm hoping that we can move away from those things."