Racist surgeon?

  1. So I've been working at this hospital for over a year, in a rural part of the South, one that seems to be stuck in the 50s. The environment in this hospital isn't that bad as most of the docs, nurses, etc. are from other cities and some from other countries. However, there is this one surgeon who is the most racist person here I've ever met. He casually uses slurs to describe other races. He referred to an attending as "buckwheat" repeatedly. I overheard him one day taking to the CHIEF OF SURGERY and in the course of 2 minutes used slurs to describe blacks, hispanics, asians and jews and they both laughed. I can't believe people like this still exist. His behavior seemed to be just accepted here.
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    About tech22

    Joined: Aug '16; Posts: 1; Likes: 1

    53 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Is there an actual question, or is that question mark just decorative?
  4. by   quiltynurse56
    My big question is what is the approximate age of this surgeon and chief of surgery. Yes, there still are people who act this way. Part of it has to do with age. During the time I have been alive, it has gone from ******, negro, colored up to now being African-American. Some people find it hard to adapt. Then you need to factor in where he has lived much of his life. I can still visit the south and hear some of the unacceptable words from people who have lived there their whole lives.
  5. by   sevensonnets
    The OP is not asking a question.
  6. by   CardiacDork
    OP is clearly venting.

    Venting is permitted on Allnurses so as long the poster remains respectful.
  7. by   AJJKRN
    Take it as good 'ol Forest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does"...and my personal favorite, "You can't fix stupid".
  8. by   Been there,done that
    Of course people like that still exist. And, he is an almighty surgeon to boot.

    Are you going to change his racist behavior? ... I think not. Pick your battles, either ignore him or move on.
  9. by   elkpark
    Yes, there are people who still think like that. Lots of them, and from everywhere, not just the South. No, nothing you can say or do is going to change his mind. If he's at all successful as a surgeon, he's bringing a lot of money into the hospital, and is apparently a buddy of the chief of surgery, to boot, so the hospital is unlikely to set any limits on him. Ignore him. If you're working in OR and have to deal with him, you'll have to decide whether you find that tolerable.

    BTW, I've lived most of my adult life in the South, and the majority of people in the South are not racists, same as anywhere else. Hospital staff don't have to be "from other cities" in order for the atmosphere of a hospital to be inclusive and respectful of everyone.
  10. by   meanmaryjean
    Sadly, in a free society, individuals are free to be idiots. Move along - you'll not change him.
  11. by   GeneralistRN
    Sometimes people come from different backgrounds, have different upbringings, and have varying degrees of familiarity and acceptance of different groups of people. It is best to recognize the positive impact that this variety of worldviews has in healthcare, as it continually makes our professional environment more engaging and diverse.
  12. by   roser13
    Quote from GeneralistRN
    Sometimes people come from different backgrounds, have different upbringings, and have varying degrees of familiarity and acceptance of different groups of people. It is best to recognize the positive impact that this variety of worldviews has in healthcare, as it continually makes our professional environment more engaging and diverse.
    Seriously?? Racist, sexist rants make your professional world more engaging and diverse? I can't quite wrap my mind around your world.

    OP, if you were working in a larger city/hospital/system, my advice would be to file a complaint against the racist surgeon. However, give your situation in a small town/hospital, I very grudgingly go along with the "nothing you can do" advice. S*** like this that turns a working environment into a hostile situation makes me sick. I'm happy to tell you that that behavior would not be tolerated in my hospital. Granted, the surgeon would not be sanctioned/terminated as quickly as a scrub tech or nurse, but it WOULD eventually happen. I've seen it happen more than once.

    I'm sorry for your situation.
  13. by   Wile E Coyote
    Quote from GeneralistRN
    Sometimes people come from different backgrounds, have different upbringings, and have varying degrees of familiarity and acceptance of different groups of people. It is best to recognize the positive impact that this variety of worldviews has in healthcare, as it continually makes our professional environment more engaging and diverse.
    HaHa, if nursing ever loses it's appeal, I think this post highlights your bright future in politics or journalism.
  14. by   Asystole RN
    Quote from roser13
    Seriously?? Racist, sexist rants make your professional world more engaging and diverse? I can't quite wrap my mind around your world.

    OP, if you were working in a larger city/hospital/system, my advice would be to file a complaint against the racist surgeon. However, give your situation in a small town/hospital, I very grudgingly go along with the "nothing you can do" advice. S*** like this that turns a working environment into a hostile situation makes me sick. I'm happy to tell you that that behavior would not be tolerated in my hospital. Granted, the surgeon would not be sanctioned/terminated as quickly as a scrub tech or nurse, but it WOULD eventually happen. I've seen it happen more than once.

    I'm sorry for your situation.
    I read the point of the post to be that when evaluating another's actions or comments we must take into account our own personal ethnocentricity. There is a HUGE difference between racism and acknowledging various races and cultures.

    Cultural context is very important.

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