14 September 2013
The scene is an outpatient dermatology clinic, where I have been going for quite some time for various problems, including condyloma (anal warts). I assiduously follow up to ensure that I am treated and in the hope that the problems will not develop into things more serious. In the course of my frequentation of this outpatient clinic, I have seen many, many residents, students in training to become dermatologists, and they have come from a great many backgrounds.
In that context, I had to confront my own prejudices when the female resident wearing a hijab called my name. I thought to myself that this observant Muslim woman was not going to like me or the task ahead of her as she examined and treated me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What I got in this visit was a professional who treated me with compassion and without judgment. I made a point of telling her supervisor that this visit had been the least traumatic and difficult for me, that she had done her job with the utmost of professionalism.
That is not only socially unacceptable, but legally unacceptable.