BY Emmanuel Kwarteng, 3:30pm August 05, 2022,

‘Get me a real doctor’ – Black physician says she is constantly mistaken for a cleaner

Yaa Oheema. Image: Kennedy News and Media

A video compilation of alleged racist comments directed at a Black physician at a UK’s South London emergency room, including being mistaken as a “janitor”, has generated an outcry among social media users. 

The 26-year-old Black physician took to TikTok to share a video compilation captioned: “Racist things my patients have said to me.” Dr. Yaa Oheema detailed a plethora of hateful comments she said she has to endure on a daily basis, including being called a “black bitch”.

The Southwark native said; “I do get a lot of racist comments,” adding that, “there’s always at least one moment or situation every shift”. This, she said, left her in tears sometimes.

Oheema further revealed that even after spending an hour with a patient, “I could get asked, “When is the doctor coming in?”.

As if this isn’t enough, the accident and emergency room doctor recounted patients saying, “They let anyone become doctors, don’t they?”, “Can I speak to the actual doctor?”, as well as, “You must be one of the good ones.”

Other patients reportedly questioned which African village she was from. The doctor explained, “I believe to some people, I don’t fit their notion of what a doctor should be because of the way I appear and the way that I speak.”

TikTok users who couldn’t hide their astonishment shared their views on the alleged horrific and archaic treatment being meted out to the young medical practitioner. One aghast gawker who was certainly surprised to see this in 2022 exclaimed; “In 2022!!!! I have no words”

Another user wrote, “Sorry you’ve had to experience such racism….ignorant people that’s all they are. We are all people at the end of the day.”

“My favorite is ‘your English is so good,’ ” said one empathetic fan on TikTok, to which she replied, “I even forgot to add that one.”

Oheema said that older people perpetuate the majority of racist insults while she shares in their frustrations since she works at the accident and emergency unit, indicating; “I work in A&E [Accident and Emergency], so the racist abuse happens a lot because there tends to be frustrations.” However, some of these distasteful comments get her emotional. 

Oheema said she was shocked that she had to deal with such prejudice in 2022 in London, a place she believed was meant to be a multicultural city. And according to her, several of her “colleagues have had similar experiences,” so she is not the only one who has fallen prey to the tendency.

“They’ll get a lot of comments like, ‘I can’t understand your accent’ or similar comments to mine where they’re mistaken for the cleaner,” she said. 

“There’s quite a lot of sexism, ageism and racism. The world is changing, but some patients still haven’t adapted,” Oheema added.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 5, 2022


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