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Does Your Doctor's Ethnicity Matter To You?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Rihana, Apr 22, 2022.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Studies have found that doctors receive higher scores in patient surveys when the doctor and patient share race or ethnicity.

    Minority patients who have doctors from their own race, will consent more often to preventive services like cardiovascular screenings and immunizations.

    Some other studies have found that the doctor and patient speaking the same language is important.

    And then there are studies that show doctor-patient race or ethnicity have no bearing on the care that the patients receive.

    But let's leave all the studies aside for now.

    How about you?
    Does your doctor's or your pediatrician's ethnicity matter to you?
    When you have a choice, do you choose or avoid doctors based on race, ethnicity or language? Why?


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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    For the first few years in the U.S., it was a relief to see Indian origin doctors. They could understand my accent and I didn't have to explain that daal/sambhar meant lentil stew. : )

    But over time, that familiarity became more a problem than an asset. I felt that Indian origin doctors talk down to me. They are more likely to dismiss my concerns or questions. If I say something like, "No, I don't like to use coconut oil or haldi paste for skin pigmentation..." they will take it personally and start telling me how our ancestors used these very homemade recipes etc etc.

    In terms of knowledge, experience, expertise, accuracy of diagnosis, they are as good as other doctors. But in the way that they talk to me, I have come to a point where I try to avoid doctors of Indian origin, especially if they spent the first 20-25 years of life in India.

    As always, there are exceptions. There was one tall lanky Indian doctor who looked and spoke casually just like Irrfan Khan, he is one doctor I will never forget for his kindness and empathy.
     
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  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    I look mainly at the doctor’s educational qualifications. But strangely almost all our doctors turned out to be Indian: our PCP, pediatrician, gyn, GI and dentist!
    I think it just speaks to the high number of Indians who take up medicine. I have also seen African-American and white doctors on occasion.
    My primary doctor is South Indian so there was that cultural familiarity and she would not lecture needlessly. My endocrinologist is also South Asian so she is able to advise about the high insulin resistance many of us face.
     
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  4. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes initially I used to prefer Indians doctors because of the familiarity with accent and culture.
    Even my current PCP is Indian. But neither his looks or name doesn’t sound like that. When we met for the first time he sounded as if he knew my city back home.
    That’s when I got to know that even he was from India.

    Usually I select doctors based on the reviews and suggestions from others. That’s how I ended up choosing my obgyn who is Indian as well! During the middle of my pregnancy I kind of regretted for choosing desi doctor but eventually everything turned out great.

    And coming to my baby none of his doctors are of Indian origin. We just wanted non Indians for a change.
     
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  5. SuiDhaaga

    SuiDhaaga Platinum IL'ite

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    Certainly my elders go towards Doctor from same region, language, etc

    It's like a homecoming when they visit. Talking about their background, histories, etc.

    Part of the healing proceess.

    My oh my!
     
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  6. nuss

    nuss Finest Post Winner

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    Never thought of this but you made me think! All of my PCPs have been non-Indians (not always white though). My Ob-Gyn during my first pregnancy was an Indian male. He was recommended by two co-workers and he was amazing! The second Ob-gyn with my daughter was a Jordanian woman (different city otherwise would have had the same Ob-Gyn). Our pediatricians have all been non-Indians except for the first one for my son. Our current pediatrician is a non-Indian married to an Indian and I like the fact that her children are also biracial and she is very aware of that. So, I guess familiarity matters.
     
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  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    That's true. I was reading that one in seven or eight doctors in the U.S. is of Indian origin. There's about 80,000 practicing physicians of Indian origin, from places like Johns Hopkins, Stanford to deep rural America.
     
  8. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Indian female ob/gyn were very popular with Indian women in my time, and one of them even had a wait list. Women used to drive 30-40 miles during pregnancy for an Indian ob/gyn and choose to deliver in a hospital 50 miles away as that ob/gyn operated only there. My not-so-great experience with Indian female PCP started around that time. I went for my first visit after a positive home pregnancy test. The nurse did a test in the doctor's office. The doctor comes in, looks at my chart on her clip-board, without even looking up, her first question to me was, "So, do you want to keep it?" Just four months back I had seen her specifically for a "preconception" visit!

    Time flies... my child chose a doctor of Indian origin for PCP ... : ) Why I asked.. it seems it is easier to explain to a desi origin doctor the trauma of having Asian/Indian parents. LOL.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
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  9. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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  10. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    What a stupid question?

    Lol. Problems of ABCD :tonguewink:
     
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