Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Shouldn't medical professionals know better?
I was reading a blog in Medscape (a branch of webmd that focuses on medical education; unfortunately requires registration) in which a med student talks about homophobic comments made by her attendings (and how in medical settings, homophobic comments are more tolerated than racist comments). Unfortunately, racism, sexism and homophobia are as prevalent in the clinics as they are in the real world (after all, doctors do come from the real world), but I found it pretty surprising that in the poll attached to it, 84% of respondents have experienced a racist or homophobic comment in a medical setting (and even more upsetting was the fact that a third of those aren't bothered by it). Granted, this is an online poll with small numbers (and anecdotally, I've heard similar experiences from many other med students), but the fact that it even exists is not right. I know that there are good and bad people out there and there's nothing keeping a bigoted asshole from becoming a doctor, but it saddens me to think that people in a field that is devoted to caring about others can see nothing wrong with hating someone just for who they are.