Monday, March 27, 2006

It's Hard Out Here for a Black Female Doctor

I recently saw an interview with Pam Grier on IFC and she said something that shocked the hell out of me. She said, in a nutshell, that the majority of the issues at the center of the civil rights movement have been resolved. What? How can any American Black person not understand that those issues are still alive and well?

Newsweek recently published a very telling op-ed piece about one Dr. Mana Lumumba-Kasongo from NYC. Here's the part that tore me up inside:

"Only a small portion of the growing number of female doctors—not quite 4 percent—look like me. Perhaps that's why, for most people, "doctor" still doesn't fit the stereotypical image of a black woman in this country. Unfortunately, black children may be even more adversely affected by this than white ones. That point was driven home to me months ago, when a 6-year-old black girl refused to let me treat her when her mother brought her to the emergency room and left us alone. She insisted on being seen by a white doctor, leaving me feeling both embarrassed and humiliated."

Read the entire piece..

Ms. Pam Grier seems like she needs a dose of the REAL world..


Suzanne said...

My friend is a resident in NYC, and she has seen that happen as well. On a similar note, my friend went to the peace corps and initially the villagers she was sent to assist rejected her because they insisted that she could not be American since she was not white.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by looking up more information about the doctor you mention. I am white, not only white, but Southern. And, this makes me sad....sad that this still goes on, sad that this doctor faces this junk. But, my being sad about it won't help, will it? All I know to do is to teach my daughter, by example, that God made everyone and that makes us all special and no one is better than anyone else. By the way...I never thought about the "oddity" of a black woman doctor. My OB/GYN is a black woman, too.

Henry J. Vogelstein said...

I just read your interview on the msnbc website.

Hang in there, Dr.Mana Lumumba-Kasongo.

Have confidence in yourself!

You have gone through great trials and tribulations in obtaining your MD.

Do not let the ignoramuses get you down!

I am sure you will make many valuable contributions in your field!

All best wishes, Henry J. Vogelstein

Blondie said...

I read that op-ed piece by Dr. Mana Lumumba-Kasongo and saw her picture. I don't think it's the color of her skin. I think it's because she's young, female, cute and perky looking. How can she possibly be a doctor when she looks like she's 18 years old? (grin)

As a blonde female, I've been on the receiving end of numerous offensive remarks as well. It doesn't count because I'm not a minority, though.

Pamela said...

The little girl who refused treatment by Dr.Mana Lumumba-Kasongo, is sadly yet a new generation of African American effected by the self-hate ingrained in them by the racist, white supremist agenda. It is the remnant of the slave mentality that still enslaves 400 + years later.

If you need something done right..."Take it to the white man". From auto repair to a doctor..."Take it to a white man".

Not only does that mentality erode the the self respect in the black community but it is part of the reason why the black dollar only circulates once in the black community. It is why black owned businesses are barely viable, it is what circumvents a black economy.

This attitude must not permeate the next generation. We must not offer up the children as human sacrifice to an oppressors public education, where they are not told of black inventors, scholars, and heroes.

Besides...why would you want to drink from Willie Lynch's water fountain, eat at his lunch counter, belong to his country club, or go to his doctor?

Thanks but, no thanks. They don't need help with their genocidal agenda.

Jason said...

Let me preface my comment by stating that I am a white male whose family physician of five years has been a young African-American female. The ironic bit lies in the fact that I live in Birmingham, Alabama, a city with deeply-rooted civil rights conflict. I find it surprising that NYC, psychologically more of a melting pot if you will, still struggles with such issues. A 6-year-old child is understandably more impressionable than an adult, which stresses the importance for adults to open their eyes and learn to exercise reason. It really gets under my skin how primitively Americans still behave when faced with these issues. We need to grow up and LEARN from the past, not continue to live it.

Anonymous said...

Are you all forgetting the obvious reason there are not many african american female doctors? BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT AS QUALIFIED AS CHINESE INDIANS OR WHITES ON AVERAGE. this is not being racist its being realistic. average MCAT scores prove it and I would rather have the BEST Dr over the more diverse doctor

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I am a female, black, ER intern, and I have been faced with this issue already 3 times. Your comments encouraged me and gave me real hope for the future...reminding me why I do what I do each and every day. Goodluck to you in your career, and maybe one day our paths will cross!