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iwanttobelieve

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Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.

Uh no. Report her. She’s trying to save herself and hoping you won’t do anything about it. That kind of **** should not be tolerated.
 
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Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.
Please do report her to the site director or someone from your school. If anything, she gave herself away by repeating what she said to the nurses and provider, who you can now use as people to back you up if needed.
As a fellow Chinese American, I am sorry this happened to you. It is NOT ok and you are right to feel upset.
 
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Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.
Absolutely report her. Everyone puts their foot in their mouth from time to time, but it sounds like she may benefit from a little chat with her supervisor. It doesn't matter where it comes from, it's not acceptable.

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iwanttobelieve

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My concern is that I still have a month at this location, and will still need to work in the ER (she seems generally well-liked and this place in general is quite tight-knit).
 

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My concern is that I still have a month at this location, and will still need to work in the ER (she seems generally well-liked and this place in general is quite tight-knit).

That’s how these people get away with it. You can always wait until the month is over or almost over. But she absolutely needs to be reported.
 
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Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.
Report it and forget it

Btw, how self-unaware and out of touch does one have to be to literally say these things out loud??? I mean she must've some serious issues.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Report it and forget it

Btw, how self-unaware and out of touch does one have to be to literally say these things out loud??? I mean she must've some serious issues.

People say what they think in privacy and sometimes it slips out in public. Not a problem unless you’re racist, etc.
 
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Sounds like she self corrected, self reported (to the awkward onlookers in the ER) and in her feeble, immature pathetic way was apologetic and remorseful. Coming to that conclusion on her own is far better than her supervisor doing it (if that would happen at all).

You can put a kind face on what she sees as a threat to contradict her cognitive dissonance or go knives out and reinforce whatever twisted ideas she has about anyone different from her. And set up the next person who is different that comes after you.
 
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Sorry to hear about that. Not sure if she was dead serious when she said "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID" or if she was trying to say it in a joking manner but even so she should of known better than to try to joke around like that with someone she just met. Those type tongue in cheek jokes only work in very close friend groups and even then really if the other person is a joking self deprecating dark humor type person. Honestly the ball is in your court either way you have a right to feel comfortable. Im not sure how serious she was in her apology to you.
 
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Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.
REPORT HER RACIST ASS TO HR NOW
 
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ooh a bean

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Report. The number of anti-asian incidents going on the US is absolutely disgusting and letting stuff like this slide only allows it to continue to happen.
 
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Definitely report, maybe at the end of the rotation. By reporting, you are preventing her from saying stuff like this to other patients, faculty, or medical students. People have been reprimanded for less.
 
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Type out your best recollection of the incident.
Write down all interaction with her for the rest of the month (within reason)
Report at the end of your rotation

Sure people can write down false things, but in general just like chart notes, document or it didn‘t happen.
 
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Type out your best recollection of the incident.
Write down all interaction with her for the rest of the month (within reason)
Report at the end of your rotation

Sure people can write down false things, but in general just like chart notes, document or it did’t happen.

This is critical. Otherwise it becomes a he said/she said situation
 
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Dral

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Witnesses might not matter. If they are all a tight knit group, they could all change the story or the ‘telephone‘ effect could occur.

Witness who is on the tech‘s side: Yah, she told me she was talking about Covid with the student and I think Ms tech said “Oh I hate Covid. My Mom has COVID.”

Document...be as specific as you can.

I would be careful about giving out too much personal info to others during the rotation as well. Your institution likely has some type of whistleblower protection, but you never know what people are capable of out of the workplace.
 
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Fatalis

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Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.
Move on and forget it. People are ignorant, there is a reason why she a lab tech and you are on your way to becoming a doctor. I have had attendings/ hospital staff criticize me because I am Italian and shouldn't I be "working construction" or working at a pizza shop than doing medicine. There is joking around with someone when you are cool with them and then people just being jackasses bc they can. Just rise above it.
 
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nofliesonme

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You have my empathy for the pain you experienced for being blamed as the cause of the lab technicians mothers Covid disease. Because the lab technician was unable to restrict her condemnation to the Chinese government and go on to condemn all Chinese, the lab technicians response became racist. If the lab technician makes a sincere apology and if the lab technician understands her response was inappropriate i would move on. "Whistleblowing", and getting HR involved in this is "over the top". It is not because I view her transgression as minor....it is because when an error like this is made an apology and acknowledgement of her vitriol is a quick and fair resolution. Dalai Lama's advice ...if you want to be happy treat others with compassion....
 

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I probably wouldn’t. Sounds like they are more of an idiot than a true racist. You have to understand a lot of these techs are just high school grads. You’re like 100x smarter than them if not more. If anything I’d pull them aside and tell them they shouldn’t make comments like that. Do what you want but know that EDs are a nest for gossip so whatever you do, consider it known.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Move on and forget it. People are ignorant, there is a reason why she a lab tech and you are on your way to becoming a doctor. I have had attendings/ hospital staff criticize me because I am Italian and shouldn't I be "working construction" or working at a pizza shop than doing medicine. There is joking around with someone when you are cool with them and then people just being jackasses bc they can. Just rise above it.

And this attitude is why we still have people employed after cursing out residents, making racist comments to nurses and patients, or saying hateful stuff to students. When everyone just “moves on” it never changes.
 
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iwanttobelieve

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So I did end up bringing it up to my attending, and funnily enough he correctly guessed who it was without me naming any names haha. He was nice about it and said it was a horrible thing to say but I don't think this will likely go further.
 
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...which means this person will likely continue to get away with this behavior. I understand you are a med student and are in a difficult place. If you are ok with it at this point, then that is your choice.

I don't care if it's joking or not, telling someone they are hated, should be working in a pizza shop, or anything else like that...they are inappropriate and not funny at best. It's not difficult to be a sensible respectable human being and be able to make small talk/communicate without unprovoked demeaning of the person with whom they are interacting.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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I believe she should be reported. Her comment was thoughtless and inappropriate. She needs a discussion with her supervisor. Having said that, her comment was so over the top, even racists know what is appropriate language in public. I know everyone thinks she should be hung out to dry. I have suspicions she may suffer from mental illness, bipolar, etc..If so, this could prompt treatment or even modifying an existing medical regime. OP may actually be doing her a favor by reporting her. One of our nurses was bi polar and there were a few outbursts like that when she was working with us.. Hate the behavior, love the person. Just my 2 cents.
 
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So I did end up bringing it up to my attending, and funnily enough he correctly guessed who it was without me naming any names haha. He was nice about it and said it was a horrible thing to say but I don't think this will likely go further.

Then you go above the attending. That response means she has a pattern of that behavior. It’s ultimately up to you, but she will just continue to get away with racism because no one does anything.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I believe she should be reported. Her comment was thoughtless and inappropriate. She needs a discussion with her supervisor. Having said that, her comment was so over the top, even racists know what is appropriate language in public. I know everyone thinks she should be hung out to dry. I have suspicions she may suffer from mental illness, bipolar, etc..If so, this could prompt treatment or even modifying an existing medical regime. OP may actually be doing her a favor by reporting her. One of our nurses was bi polar and there were a few outbursts like that when she was working with us.. Hate the behavior, love the person. Just my 2 cents.

She probably doesn’t suffer from mental illness and is just a racist. I have literally heard antisemitic things from my med school classmates, and then they could not understand why I was upset. People just think it’s okay to generalize entire groups of people.

Edit: it’s a sad state of affairs when suggest people saying racist comments should be held accountable for it gets an eye roll from a physician.
 
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Every hospital lab has a physician lab director. You can have a private conversation with the lab director about this person's behavior. Your attending's response suggests that this was not this person's first offense, so the lab director needs to know--this person can potentially say racist things to patients too!
 
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deleted889094

Hey guys, so I'm looking for some advice about a recent incident. So I'm a Chinese American student (important for story) who is currently on a rotation in a rural area, and we have to spend some time in the ER on call. I was introduced to this (white) lab tech who was also working that night, and she asked me what nationality I was, and when I said I was Chinese, she said (actual quote) "Oh I hate you, my mom has COVID". Quite frankly, I was extremely shocked by her comment and had no idea how to react. I think she realized that she had messed up and she immediately started saying she did not mean it and she did not know why she said it, but then when I came back into the ER a little while later she said sort of haha-jokingly-we're all in this together-kind of way that she had told the nurses and on-call provider in the ER what she had said to me, and they were "appalled", except everyone around us just sort of looked slightly awkward. I guess my question is I'm not sure if I should mention something like this to my school or just let it go? Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm just upset right now and not sure if I'm overreacting or not.
Just yikes... You're not overreacting. A good reminder that none of us are as funny as we think. Some much less so.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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She probably doesn’t suffer from mental illness and is just a racist. I have literally heard antisemitic things from my med school classmates, and then they could not understand why I was upset. People just think it’s okay to generalize entire groups of people.

Edit: it’s a sad state of affairs when suggest people saying racist comments should be held accountable for it gets an eye roll from a physician.
It's a sad state of affairs when someone sees a racist behind every tree and ignores the point that mental illness just might be involved.
 
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deleted889094

It's a sad state of affairs when someone sees a racist behind every tree and ignores the point that mental illness just might be involved.
I tend to agree. There's a difference between saying something racially insensitive and being racist. I think the location of that line is the Crux of most arguments about this sort of thing.
 
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It’s definitely not appropriate and is unacceptable behavior, but I don’t know if I’d report it. As a minority myself, I have been called all kind of things including a terrorist and many other variants of things over the years, mostly in semi joking manner. I never took these things seriously and just kept moving along. To this day, even as an attending, I hear jokes at times. Honestly, I just don’t take it seriously, just laugh along and move on. I could have gotten many people fired or at least in trouble, but it would have made my work environment toxic, especially residency.
 
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It’s definitely not appropriate and is unacceptable behavior, but I don’t know if I’d report it. As a minority myself, I have been called all kind of things including a terrorist and many other variants of things over the years, mostly in semi joking manner. I never took these things seriously and just kept moving along. To this day, even as an attending, I hear jokes at times. Honestly, I just don’t take it seriously, just laugh along and move on. I could have gotten many people fired or at least in trouble, but it would have made my work environment toxic, especially residency.
What's wrong with reporting after the rotation is done?
 

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In one of my hospitals, all of my patients are transgender patients.
75% of the anesthesiologists, 50% of the nurses have said something sexist ....somethiing that goes beyond the unacceptable comment in this thread.
If this occurs or is brought to my attention, I immediately discuss the inappropriate comment.
If it is a group setting like the OR, I let everyone know why this is inappropriate and make it clear that this is not to happen again.
Beyond this I've contacted the CEO and scheduled educational meetings and made changes in the hospital system.
My belief has been that these inappropriate comments are based on ignorance rather than maliciousness.
Apologies have always been given, and over time the transgressions have virtually disappeared.
I have never had to get HR involved, or had to single out a person to the administration.
I have never felt the need to get a mental health evaluation for an inappropriate comment.
Perhaps I have been overly lax....perhaps i should contact a medical school dean every time a student makes a sexist comment,
Perhaps i need to report fellow physicians to HR, or the appropriate medical board ....
No..... thats not how I want to practice, nor is it how I want my team members to practice...
 
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DarkHorizon

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What's wrong with reporting after the rotation is done?

There’s nothing wrong with it. I agree that it’s unacceptable behavior, but I’d personally just let it slide myself, or would probably tell the person how I felt, if I truly was bothered.
 

iwanttobelieve

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I probably should have addressed it immediately, but it actually took me a second to process what she had said, and I was definitely really shocked that she would say something like that to a person she literally just met. :/
 
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Didn't even read the comments because I can probably guess with this thread turned into.

I would let it go. This person meant it as a joke, and it is exactly this sort of hypersenstivity that is ruining medicine.
 
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I mean the responses telling OP to let it go fits the theme of forgiving disturbing behavior elsewhere. And that's a major problem

Racism should never be tolerated in medicine, and the fact that some SDNers urge to let it go shows the problem remains disturbingly deep even at a subconscious level
 
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Angus Avagadro

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I mean the responses telling OP to let it go fits the theme of forgiving disturbing behavior elsewhere. And that's a major problem

Racism should never be tolerated in medicine, and the fact that some SDNers urge to let it go shows the problem remains disturbingly deep even at a subconscious level
Some people pick their battles more carefully than others. Some are not bothered as much by inappropriate comments and just let it roll off. I never think anyone should condone inappropriate behavior by ignoring it. I made my feelings on this clear earlier in the post. Remember racism is a learned behavior, your not born being racist. Likewise, your are not born being triggered and taking on the role of victim when anything resembling racism, for whatever reason, crops up. This too is a learned behavior. I think coming down hard on inappropriate comments like OP experienced doesn't change minds and hearts. I think @nofliesonme had a great response about investigating these issues and how to manage them.
 

Lawpy

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Some people pick their battles more carefully than others. Some are not bothered as much by inappropriate comments and just let it roll off. I never think anyone should condone inappropriate behavior by ignoring it. I made my feelings on this clear earlier in the post. Remember racism is a learned behavior, your not born being racist. Likewise, your are not born being triggered and taking on the role of victim when anything resembling racism, for whatever reason, crops up. This too is a learned behavior. I think coming down hard on inappropriate comments like OP experienced doesn't change minds and hearts. I think @nofliesonme had a great response about investigating these issues and how to manage them.

The best strategy is to document and report the tech after the rotation is done imo
 
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Are you serious?
Yeah I am serious. It sounded like it was a joke.

And it is sad we live in an era where people can't even make a slightly off color joke without having HR get involved. Actual blatant racism is one thing, but this was clearly meant in a humorous way. It is surprising to me that no one posting on this thread sees that.
 

TragicalDrFaust

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So sorry this happened to you. I’m also Chinese American and I feel this. You have every right to be upset and I’m happy that you’re talking openly about the experience. I hope you’re able to take action that makes this person understand how ignorant, inappropriate and unprofessional the comment was.
 

DarkHorizon

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I mean the responses telling OP to let it go fits the theme of forgiving disturbing behavior elsewhere. And that's a major problem

Racism should never be tolerated in medicine, and the fact that some SDNers urge to let it go shows the problem remains disturbingly deep even at a subconscious level

Would you report an attending who made racist jokes but took interest in your development as a resident and mentored and was there for you in dark times? Would you report people who had your back, let you operate on their patients, taught you everything they knew and batted for you? Would you report your coresidents who picked up the slack for you when you were down and defended you when you made mistakes? Where would you draw the line? I would never report these people as a matter of principle and would give them benefit of the doubt. Despite their racist/bigoted comments, I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for these people.
 

Lawpy

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Would you report an attending who made racist jokes but took interest in your development as a resident and mentored and was there for you in dark times? Would you report people who had your back, let you operate on their patients, taught you everything they knew and batted for you? Would you report your coresidents who picked up the slack for you when you were down and defended you when you made mistakes? Where would you draw the line? I would never report these people as a matter of principle and would give them benefit of the doubt. Despite their racist/bigoted comments, I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for these people.

I think thats different from telling racist stuff to a stranger as in OP's case
 
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DarkHorizon

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I think thats different from telling racist stuff to a stranger as in OP's case

I agree with you, and it’s 100 percent wrong and unacceptable. I just give people benefit of the doubt because I am sure I have said things that can potentially be reported. Hopefully they’ll realize that it wasn’t the right thing to do. Alternatively, if something bothers me, I just tell them to their face. I have never reported anyone so far. I give them a chance to remediate the issue, and usually they do. Again, that’s just how I operate. I am not saying I’m right, OP is totally justified to report if they want.
 
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deleted889094

Yeah I am serious. It sounded like it was a joke.

And it is sad we live in an era where people can't even make a slightly off color joke without having HR get involved. Actual blatant racism is one thing, but this was clearly meant in a humorous way. It is surprising to me that no one posting on this thread sees that.
I'm generally with you, but they were essentially strangers. Doesn't matter that it was race joke as much as it was really unprofessional. Shows really bad judgement on her part and she would likely benefit from further conversation about it. From what OP said, even after revisiting the topic with other people around she didn't see that it was really bad people skills.
 

Opomfrog

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ya not really a place like that anymore this day in age
 
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