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Most foreign doctors in NHS face ‘racist microaggressions’, survey shows

Three in five foreign doctors in the NHS face “racist microaggressions” at work, such as patients refusing to be treated by them or having their abilities doubted because of their skin colour.

The widespread “thinly veiled, everyday instances of racism at work” experienced by medics trained overseas has been uncovered by a survey of more than 2,000 UK doctors and dentists.

Almost three in five (58%) said they had encountered such behaviour, from colleagues as well as patients, although most did not report it because they thought that no action would be taken. Doctors affected can feel upset, humiliated, marginalised and not taken seriously as a result.

The findings have raised fears that international medical graduates may choose not to work in the NHS, which is increasingly reliant on their skills given the service’s shortage of doctors.

Dr Naeem Nazem, the head of medical at the medical defence organisation MDDUS, which acts for doctors accused of wrongdoing, said: “These findings show us that a worryingly large number of overseas-trained doctors working in the NHS face racist microaggressions in the course of their work, from both patients and colleagues, and that many do so regularly.”

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Source: The Guardian, 8 November 2023


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