One of the reasons I don't subscribe to Mishpacha magazine is because of the high level of annoyance I experience when reading many of their articles. During a recent visit to the wife's parents during which I had some spare time I did pick up a copy and confirmed my opinion quite quickly.
On one page, for example, they reported on a recent incident somewhere in Europe where a Jewish doctor had refused to operate on a patient with a swastika tatoo. The blurb concluded with the results of a survey showing that only 34% of Jewish doctors asked disagreed with this physician's stand.
I was quite bothered by this. In my job one comes into contact with people from every ethnic group imaginable. Either you're working with them or you're treating them, it's unavoidable and given that the goal of working in medicine is to treat patients with illness, there is really no place for politics or personal views that interfere with the care of the patient. We, physicians and nurses, are not judges, juries or executioners. When the sick person presents, it's my job to fix him. When another physician or nurse needs help, I don't care about their background or beliefs. Our goal is to help the patient so I leave my politics at the door.
Except this morning I didn't.
Every so often I take a final year medical student on for their six week Family Medicine rotation. I enjoy teaching and the challenge of making sure I know the latest information so I can effectively guide these young 'uns in their training. One again, I've had students from various backgrounds and gotten along with all of them. After all, politics has no place in the teaching of medicine and that's what I'm there to do.
But today I got an e-mail from the university that I'd been assigned a student starting next month. The name was ethnic and suitably vague so my first question was: Boy or girl. And even the person who e-mailed me wasn't sure. So I did what any (ir)responsible person would do: I Bing'ed him.
I'm not sure if it was a mistake or a good idea. The first couple of listings were pretty innocuous. He's involved with the university medical journal, he's won some scholarships in the past, pretty standard stuff for a medical student.
And then this came up: