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MEdIC Series: The Case of the Discriminatory Patient – Expert Review and Curated Community Commentary


Our first case of this season, The Case of the Discriminatory Patient, outlined a scenario of a junior resident faced with blatant discrimination while trying to treat a patient who refuses to be seen by a “non-white” or “non-Canadian” physician.

This month, the MEdIC team (Drs. Tamara McColl, Teresa Chan, Sarah Luckett-Gatopoulos, Eve Purdy, John Eicken, Alkarim Velji, and Brent Thoma), hosted an online discussion around this case with insights from the ALiEM community. We are proud to present to you the curated community commentary and our expert opinions. Thank-you to all participants for contributing to the very rich discussions surrounding this case!

This follow-up post includes

  • Responses from our solicited experts:
    • Dr. John Neary (@jddneary) is a general internist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and deputy Internal Medicine program director at McMaster University. He would like to develop an infrastructure for massively distributed point-of-care RCTs, but in real life he mostly lurks on ED/geriatrics/nephro Twitter discussions.
    • Dr. Teresa Smith (@docteresayvonne) is currently the Residency Program Director, Clinical Assistant Dean, and Education Fellowship Director at SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, which heralds as the largest combined emergency medicine and internal medicine/emergency medicine training program in the country, but also one of the most diverse. Her interests include, promoting diversity and inclusion in medical education from medical school to GME training. She has worked on research projects that address the health care disparities in the community served by the hospitals in Brooklyn. 
    • Dr. Brenda Oiyemhonlan is an emergency physician at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Centre. She is also Medical Director of the Clinical Decision Unit and clinical instructor at UCSF School of Medicine. Brenda holds a Masters in public health and has a special interest in administration, resource utilization, quality improvement, ED flow, and the patient experience.
  • A summary of insights from the ALiEM community derived from the Twitter and blog discussions
  • Freely downloadable PDF versions of the case and expert responses for use in continuing medical education activities
Expert Response 1: Discrimination is a problem for everyone (Dr. John Neary)
Expert Response 2: Racism and Discrimination in Medicine (Dr. Teresa Smith)
Expert Response 3: A Complex Situation (Dr. Brenda Oiyemhonlan )
Curated from the Community (Dr. John Eicken)

Case and Responses for Download

Click here (or on the picture below) to download the case and responses as a PDF (321 kb).

Tamara McColl, MD FRCPC

Tamara McColl, MD FRCPC

Associate Editor, ALiEM MEdIC Series
Emergency Physician, St. Boniface Hospital, WRHA
Academic Lead, Educational Scholarship
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Manitoba