by Dr. Altaf Saadi
Originally published: April 24, 2017
I had the good fortune to speak at the March for Science in Boston over the weekend. The speakers were a diverse bunch, more so than what is reflected in the scientific workforce in the United States at large. That’s a problem for science and medicine.
In my work as a female physician of Iraqi and Iranian descent, I’m intimately familiar with the lack of diversity and the abundance of prejudice in the health care realm. Here’s a story I told at the march about a recent encounter with a patient’s husband after I introduced myself as his wife’s neurologist. “A Muslim doctor? How about that,” he said incredulously. “I hope you’re not one of the violent ones! Don’t shoot me!”