Pediatrician shares some of the everyday racism he experiences

NHS workers share the shocking racism they’ve experienced at work, including being told ‘shouldn’t you work in a curry house?’ and ‘where are you REALLY from?’

  • NHS medical professionals have been sharing their experiences of racism while at work, including being asked ‘where are you really from?’ 
  •  Thread on Twitter posted by London-based paediatrician Dr Zeshan Qureshi evoked more shocking stories of racism from health workers
  •  Angela Lam, a doctor from Scotland, said she’d been told: ‘You don’t look local’

NHS doctors and medical professionals subjected to racist remarks from patients have been sharing their negative experiences on social media. 

A thread on Twitter posted this week by London-based paediatrician Dr Zeshan Qureshi saw him recounting the horrible encounters he’s had with racist patients, including one who asked: ‘Shouldn’t you work in a curry house?’.

The string of tweets sparked responses from fellow medical professionals who’ve experienced similar racist comments while working in a hospital environment. 

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NHS medical professionals have been sharing their experiences of racism while at work, including being asked ‘where are you really from?’ (Stock photo)

Dr Zeshan Qureshi wrote: ‘The following are some of my experiences of racism working as a doctor in the NHS. It happens to all of us.’

He details how he was randomly stopped by a police office on his way to work, who told him: ‘We use our discretion. We wouldn’t have stopped the last car, it was a nice family. What are the chances of them being a terrorist?’ 

Another incident saw him being attacked on social media after an appearance on Newsnight. He says he was told: ‘We need white Caucasians representing us, not bloody foreigners’. 

Among the most shocking is the mother of a child who had been sexually abused, who told Dr Qureshi: “You can’t really trust foreigners” despite him being the doctor treating her daughter.

Another medical professional, @shaziaparv, said she was once told: ‘I could write a book on them especially the one “you’re wearing that cloth on your head are you forced to wear it”.’

And Angela Lam, a doctor from Scotland, said she’d been told: ‘You don’t look local’ while treating a patient, and asked ‘But where are you really from?’ 

She adds she’s also been told ‘You speak very good English’.

A fourth-year medical student, Farhat Bibi, said the fact racism still existed made her feel ‘so sad’, writing: ‘Although the most I have experienced now is “you speak very good English for someone who isn’t white”, I’m expecting a lot more to come. I hope that I am wrong.’ 

@usamabasit wrote: ‘I once had: “You guys have done well haven’t you? I used to have Pakistani cleaners in my house. Come a long way from that haven’t you?” (Addressed to Pakistani me and my Indian-born British anaesthetic consultant as we entered to do a pre-op assessment).’

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