“Pulling out the ‘bad apples’ won’t solve the situation. ‘There’s a system problem,’ Dr. Terry Aldred said, ‘and there’s a way-that-we’re-trained problem.’
According to a 2015 report First Peoples, Second Class Treatment, ‘racism against Indigenous peoples in the health care system is so pervasive that people strategize around anticipated racism before visiting the emergency department or, in some cases, avoid care.’
‘It does not make it right and I’m not trying to create excuses,’ said Aldred, ‘but as somebody who walks in both worlds, medical students weren’t trained properly in cultural safety and humility.’ Training was aimed at creating confident practitioners who knew their stuff, she said. ‘They didn’t want the soft-spoken, tender-hearted person necessarily.’ She recalls some of her fellow medical students as exceptionally caring and altruistic whose demeanour changed dramatically after going through medical training.
Nearly 10 years out of school, Aldred is helping change the system from within. Besides her primary care practice with Carrier Sekani Family Services, she is site director with UBC’s Indigenous Family Medicine program, managing 10 medical residents in Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver. These days, residents get five times more Indigenous health content than Aldred did, and time spent working in Indigenous communities.
‘It’s kind of like changing the tide on a tsunami.’”
More here on Healthcare racism investigation should go beyond “bad apples” to systemic roots, says Indigenous doctor via Rocky Mountain Goat.