Analyzing Annals: On Being a Doctor: Slaves

“I knew where this was going. It was not the first time a patient had asked me about my training. Some patients are just curious. Others are trying to get at something deeper, more insidious.” Dr. Gupta shares her jarring encounter with prejudice and her feeling of isolation.

Use this essay to:

  • Listen to an audio recording of the essay read by On Being a Doctor editor, Dr. Michael LaCombe.
  • Observe your own reactions to what happened to Dr. Gupta. How do you think you would have responded?
  • Have you ever experienced or witnessed something similar?
  • Are we “obligated” to put up with such comments from patients? Are there right and wrong ways to respond? How does the responsibility to ensure the best care for the patient influence what is appropriate? Are we obligated to accommodate prejudicial requests? What if a patient's antagonism makes productive interactions for the provision of appropriate care impossible?
  • What resources are available to help physicians navigate such situations?

Annals of Internal Medicine is the premier internal medicine academic journal published by the American College of Physicians (ACP). It is one of the most widely cited and influential specialty medical journals in the world.

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