Let’s play a little game first. I will give you a word and you have three seconds to imagine a picture of this word.





Now, what image do you have in mind?

Is he/she a man or a woman? A white or a black or other minorities?

For me, when I googled “physician”, most of the pictures are white…



Promoting racial/ethnic diversity within the physician workforce is a national priority. However, the extent of racial/ethnic discrimination reported by physicians from diverse backgrounds in today’s health-care workplace is unknown. Nunez-Smith et al. (20009) determine the prevalence of physician experiences of perceived racial/ethnic discrimination at work and explore physician views about race and discussions regarding race/ethnicity in the workplace.


Had experienced racial/ethnic discrimination “sometimes, often, or very often” during their medical career.

(71% of black physicians, 45% of Asian physicians, 63% of “other” race physicians, and 27% of Hispanic/Latino(a) physicians, compared with 7% of white physicians)


Experienced discrimination in their current work setting was substantial

(59% of black, 39% of Asian, 35% of “other” race, 24% of Hispanic/Latino(a) physicians, and 21% of white physicians)

Many non-majority physicians report experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination in the workplace!



Nunez-Smith, Marcella, Nanlesta Pilgrim, Matthew Wynia, Mayur M. Desai, Beth A. Jones, Cedric Bright, Harlan M. Krumholz, and Elizabeth H. Bradley. 2009. “Race/ethnicity and workplace discrimination: Results of a national survey of physicians.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 24(11): 1198-1204.

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