Earlier this week, a video captured a racist woman demanding that a Canadian urgent care clinic provide her son with a “white doctor” and not one who didn’t speak English or who had “brown teeth.”
Dr. Nadia Alam, the president-elect of the Ontario Medical Association, tells CBC News that this racist rant is far more common than many people believe.
“A lot of physicians who are visible minorities or have accents that suggest that they’re immigrants, they face this,” she said in response to the video, which quickly went viral after being posted on Sunday. “They face incidents like this… Sometimes it is openly like ‘I’m not going to see you because you’re this skin colour or you have this accent. I want to see somebody else.”
Alam said she hasn’t experienced much of this sort of racism in the city of Georgetown, where she currently practices medicine, but she has seen it a lot in larger cities.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “You think that you’re a Canadian, that this is your country, this is where you belong. And when someone accuses you that way or treats you that way, you feel like an alien.”