An Asian-American doctor in Oregon says she routinely comes across patients in the ER who flat out refuse to let her treat them because of her race.
An Asian-Amerian emergency room physician is speaking out about white nationalism and the effect it has had on her life, including patients who refuse to let her treat them. Dr. Esther Choo says that several times a year, a patient in the emergency room will refuse to let her treat them because of her race, even though they are in urgent need of medical care.
Choo, a doctor in Oregon, shared her experiences in Twitter last Sunday, and the story was quickly picked up nationwide.
“We’ve got a lot of white nationalists in Oregon. So a few times a year, a patient in the ER refuses treatment from me because of my race,” Dr. Ellen Choo said in one tweet that was favorited nearly 50,000 times and retweeted more than 25,000 times.
“The conversation usually goes like this. Me: ‘I understand your viewpoint. I trained at elite institutions & have been practicing for 15 years. You are welcome to refuse care under my hands, but I feel confident that I am the most qualified to care for you. Especially since the alternative is an intern.’ And they invariably pick the intern, as long as they are white. Or they leave,” Choo wrote in further tweets. “I used to cycle through disbelief, shame, anger. Now I just show compassion and move on.”
Dr. Ellen Choo noted that Oregon was a hotbed for white nationalists. She was inspired by the horrific events in Charlottesville to come forward and speak about how white nationalists treat other human beings who don’t look like them.
Not surprisingly, she is far from alone.
“What I’m hearing from my colleagues is that this is a daily occurrence for many of them, at least experiences of prejudice. The patient who outright refuses care is less common, but I definitely heard from a lot of people this week that they have also had that exact same experience,” Choo later told CNN.