Twice while working as an emergency medicine resident, Aasim Padela, MD, MSc, had a patient tell him that they didn't want to be "taken care of by a terrorist." Dr Padela, an associate professor of emergency medicine, bioethicist, and director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine at the University of Chicago, is Muslim.
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|How We Did It: Full Survey Results WebMD|
|Patients’ Bigoted Remarks Bruise Most Doctors, Yet They Get Little Help Dealing With the Wounds STAT|
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Jay Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the American Hospital Association, was caring for a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis in the ICU when the patient told him, "Go back to India. I don't want to see you."
Emily Whitgob, MD, a postdoctoral medical fellow in pediatrics at Stanford Medicine, found herself with a room of clinicians in tears the morning after one of her interns had been told by a Palestinian patient that he did not want to see any Jewish doctors. (He did ultimately receive care from a Jewish physician.)
And these anecdotes are not isolated incidents. A survey conducted by Medscape and WebMD in partnership with STAT found that 59% of doctors have experienced bias from patients. In addition, nearly half (47%) of the 822 doctors surveyed had a patient request a different clinician because of that provider's personal characteristics. Yet, only about a quarter (24%) of surveyed physicians documented the incident in the patient's chart, and about 1 in 10 reported it to an administrative authority.
It seems that the medical field has few resources for helping physicians deal with these situations. In fact, 24% of responding physicians said their organization lacks a formal process to initiate when patients discriminate against providers, and 60% did not know if their institutions had one. Similarly, nearly half (49%) of the physicians said their organization did not offer training for managing patient bias, and over a third (36%) weren't sure.
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Cite this: Physicians Who Experience Patient Prejudice Lack Resources - Medscape - Oct 18, 2017.