Is This Doctor Racist??? | Diversity in Healthcare | Wednesday Checkup | Doctor Mike

čas přidán 8. 11. 2018
Please Share this video with your friends and family to raise awareness!!!
Welcome to a new episode of Wednesday Checkup and today we are covering the recent viral video from Twitter. Many people are accusing the doctor in the video of racism and discrimination.
I think this was a really sad incident and I give my feelings in this video on the importance of diversity in healthcare as well as my thoughts on discrimination. If you agree or disagree please hop in the comments section.
Original Tweet:
Thanks to Angie FBG for letting us use this video and giving me more details on the incident.
Link to her twitter:
Link to STFM Fundraising Website:
Link to Overlook Medical Center Financial Assistance Page:
If you have an idea of something you want me to cover in depth, please let me know because I take your requests seriously. We will be back with more Medical Drama Review Series in a couple of weeks so please submit more names of shows/episodes you'd like for me to watch. Love you all!
- Doctor Mike Varshavski
Please SUBSCRIBE for new videos every Sunday 11am EST ▶
Let’s connect:
IG - Doctor Mike
Twitter - Real Doctor Mike
Facebook - Real Doctor Mike
Contact Email:
P.O. Box (send me stuffs):
340 W 42nd St # 2695
NY, NY 10108


  • I don't think he handled it well, BUT I don't understand how you can live in a country and not learn its language. 45 years? Really?

  • Doctor: You should really learn English Me (if I didn't know English): Okay that's great and all, but I can't learn an entire language on the spot right now so are you gonna treat me or not? My medical issue can't wait a few years while I work on learning a new language. I need to find someone who can treat me. If you can't, just let me know instead of lecturing so I can go find a medical professional who can work with me.

  • I`m not American... Though the doctor didn`t react in the best way in this situation, she has been there for 45 years........ If I´ve been living in a foreign country for 45 years, I would personally learn the language as soon as possible, just out of respect, but that`s just me....

  • Why do you want a relationship with all ur patients.

  • Omg Dr. Mike what happened to your shirt it is not fitting right 😨 It is LOSE 🤭🙊

  • I want to be clear that I do not believe the elderly doctor in the video handled that well. The only reason I can think of as to why a doctor could deny care due to a language barrier is the idea of it possibly being a HIPAA violation. Your solution to offer an interpreter or even just a quick signature on a release form can fix that. I imagine the interpreter would be cleared if necessary the same way. However, I want to point out there was actually a study recently that suggested diversity is, in fact, NOT a strength (see "Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: A Narrative and Meta-Analytical Review" by Peter Thisted Dinesen, Merlin Schaeffer, and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov). Even without this study, I think it's important to consider whether someone can perform if you're going to hire them, regardless of field. If you need someone to write things up and you have a straight, white, religious man who can write well and an African American person who identifies as gender fluid that cannot write well, would you hire the latter just for the sake of diversity? I should hope not but I also want to point out this is not a decision made based on race, sexual orientation, or anything else. This is a choice based on skill alone. I think many people are losing sight of this.

  • Everything you said is correct but everyone should learn English though, not just in US but in whole world, it's just easier if the whole humanity speaks the same language if they can. All other animals of the same species speak same language

    • @Nicholas Singer Still it'll be really better if every human speaks the same language, that was my point. We have advanced enough to the point where everybody has resources to learn

    • Aditi Rana yea but the sounds they make are not descriptive sounds animals mainly communicate via scent and actions, the sounds they make like a bark or a whine or a grow r just that other dogs understand the sound but the sound doesn’t have a deeper meaning, cuz by that logic we also “speak” dog cuz we understand what a whine means, they don’t “speak” they can relay a reaction through focalization but there is not high level thinking or specifications that are translated through vocalization

    • @Nicholas Singer Every animal has one language, dogs bark & convey their message, birds chirp, cows moo, dolphins produce ultrasonic waves so yeah

    • Aditi Rana just to clarify animals of the same species don’t speak the same “language” it’s not as if two deer have full blown conversations with one another, they just have the same instincts and traits hence they understand each other through actions, scents via hormones etc but not by “speaking”

  • I get that it’s not his place to say this but it’s not really racist it’s more advice and something she should probably do also it’s not like because she spoke a different language he was refusing to give her healthcare she was the one who walked out.

  • Many comments here seem to entirely miss the point. Just as Dr. Mike said, and I think so too, it would be very beneficial to learn the language of the country you live in, for various reasons. But that is not the point here. Your views on how a person should be, behave or whatever, be it socioeconomical, political or religious, should have NO IMPACT on their treatment whatsoever. Imagine a doctor being able to say 'Nah I don't wanna treat you, don't like your face, buzz off'. That's the whole point. The grandma shouldn't have been denied care, period.

  • The Dr was rude

  • Ya’ll ever tried to learn a second language? Not easy! 😫 grew up hearing Spanish every day, on and off studied and taken classes, still don’t know it!!!!

    • Pencils No Last Name thats great, hope that goes well for you

    • I have, I'm learning three languages at the same time, and I'm pretty good at it

  • This made me think of the episode of House MD 'Acceptance' which tackles a Dr.s bias regarding death row inmates treatment. I think it would be great if you took a look at that episode!

  • I don't know. I am not a native speaker myself, but I would 100% talk English when not in my native country. I think you are responsible to be able to communicate with your surroundings. So when you live abroad learn the native language there and/or sufficient English. So I get the doctors point here.

  • why don't dr mike just state that the doctor was racist??? it's pretty f ing clear isn't it??

  • I would be livid!

  • wow how sad

  • she doesn't need to learn English if she doesn't want to/can't !

  • The problem can also be, if the doctor cannot understand patient to get permission to speak with another party and real ease their info he can get a HIPPA violation. He should have reacted differently and got a translator or interpreter. If the patient has on for the mother can speak and receive info then he should have went with it. Nobody says any of these things? Need to know the entire situation.

  • I work at a medical office as a receptionist, I am bilingual. Speaking to a patient in the same language they speak is easy when I am using my own words. I know the language and I know how to communicate my message. However things change immensely when you have to interpret English to a non-English speaker. It is no longer my message I am communicating but someone else’s. The company I work for puts all of their bilingual staff through an interpreter class and it was then when I realized the difficulty of interpreting. When you are interpreting medical terminology you don’t want to get anything wrong. It can cause a lot of problems for the patient and their health. It is the responsibility of the office to provide interpretation services to the patient and as mentioned in this video it is the patients right to refuse should they choose too so long as the concerns of misinterpreting are addressed with the patient and it is noted in the patients chart who interpreted. Patients’ families are often biased and will sometimes omit information in order to protect the feelings of the patient and that is disregarding the patient’s autonomy. Also if you are not trained in medical terminology it can prove to be detrimental to the patient. That being said, that physician has no business seeing patients I can almost assure you that had this patient been European speaking their native language his behavior would have been a little different. I could be wrong but but I’m probably right. He was just a racist. Thank you Dr. Mike for shining light on this issue because it is not an isolated issue.

  • Medicine does not discriminate!

  • This is actually very personal for me as well. My family is from Serbia. My mother, father, and me immigrated to America when I was younger, and now we live here. We are the only people in my family living in America. But sometimes, my relatives who still live in Serbia will visit here for a few weeks. Now, my grandmother on my father's side and grandfather on my mother's side, both speak extremely little English. They have a very hard time getting just through airport customs alone, and often they need to use some kind of online translator. My aunt does speak a little English, but it must be spoken slowly and clearly. Often, either my mother (her sister) or I will translate for her. Watching this video made me very upset, because I imagine what it would be like to be in this situation, if something had happened to my grandmother and she needed medical attention, to go to a doctor's office and be spoken to in such a way, refused medical attention because my grandmother does not speak English. It would make both of us very upset, and I would be so disappointed and even slightly ashamed of the ruckus it would cause. It is just so unfair that people still have this outlook. America has no official language!! So why is there this issue?? I know, that in this particular video it is probably the fact that they are speaking Spanish, and not another language, but *still*. It was so disrespectful what that doctor did and I feel so terrible for the family that was put under that stress.

  • Wait are u Russian ? Never knew that

  • Russian voice reveal?🐤👍

  • I think it was narrssasistic Dr. Mike

  • I can't believe a doctor would say that! We are supposed to treat all patients the same! And we have interpreters as a medical assistant, that really upset me

  • I am from Tamilnadu. I spent 90% of my life in Karnataka (another state that speaks a different language) and Australia. I am very comfortable speaking in English even though my mother tongue is Tamil. In my school, it is mandatory to speak in English and it is easy for me to follow it but all the students from the school don't speak in Tamil. I am often bullied for speaking in English and often told that I should speak in Tamil in Tamil soil. But i have to siblings also of the same circumstances who often support each other and we are the best students of the school and liked by all teachers because we follow school rules! #awesomeDoctorMike.

  • I'll say this about knowing the language. I lived in Japan for about 7 years. I knew Japanese fairly decently, well enough to fool most people into thinking I'm fluent, even though I have some clear gaps. I've been to doctors before on my own, and the results are kind of mixed. Sometimes, I would have a fairly easy time understanding. Other times, generally when something more complicated is going on, it was more difficult. Having either my then partner or his mother with me helped. Even though they didn't know English, they could simplify the language so that I could understand. However, I can't imagine if it were something major that required an extensive treatment plan, such as cancer, how difficult it would be to understand and communicate. I did learn the language. For many years, I learned the language. But when it comes to studied fields, like medicine, law, etc, where even most laymen have a hard time understanding, it's so much harder for someone who's not native. With the doctor in this video saying "It's not the same," referring to his daughter translating, that is true. However, if the mother had learned the language, there's potential for an even greater language gap and even more misunderstanding. Of course, it all depends, but I'm presuming she came to the US sometime in the middle of her life, which is a situation where it's harder to fully learn a language. Even if she knew English, it's probably in her best interest to have someone there to translate anyway.

  • You should do a video on doctors discriminatory views on obesity that the solution is always just "lose weight"

  • I can kind of understand I work as a cahsier at an Int'l Market at some point when you are overwhelmed by the amount of people who don't speak English you start to understand that Engish in the United States in the unofficial language of communication. If you go to Japan Japanese people are very nationalistic about you being able to speak Japanese. Only in America do we defend someone living her for 13 years and not attempt to learn a lick of English. Try having 53 people a day who don't speak English talking to you as see how long you last thinking "Immgrants shouldn't be held accountable for learning English." I'm not entertaining that bullshit. If you go to live in China without trying to learn Chinese you are gonna have a hell of time. Learn the language and do not expect others to be soft on you cause you are some speacil foreign language speaker. Just imagine having a teachers teaching you in a language you don't understand when they are supposed to do so in English and English only wouldbit be racist to call that teacher out? Its a form of respect and apprication to learn the country's language.

  • How do you know they’re translating the proper message? If you’re in the United States of America where we speak English, you should learn to speak English. If not, that’s fine but don’t expect special treatment.

  • Sorry dude, but your comment about this is TOTALLY biased, cuz you only heard one side of the story & didn't reach out to find out the doc's side of the story .

  • I was an immigrant too, and that was really painful to watch. I take my mom to all her doctors’ appointment, and I translate for her. We are fortunate to have a great primary doctor. He is so kind, patient and caring. PS I love you ❤️

  • Is he racist? No, Mexican is not a race. Should he have just treated her and kept his opinions to himself? I would say yes. However, I have known several doctors over the course of my life who had a terrible bedside manner. They exist, I assure you. Not all doctors, not even a significant percentage, is like Doctor Mike. As Doctor Mike touched on here, treating a patient through an interpreter is a risky business. No matter how well they know the patient, no matter how well they speak the patient's language, you are still talking to the patient through a filter. Some things, possibly even significant things, will get lost in translation. This benefits neither the patient nor the doctor, as they might not get the care they need simply because the doctor is unable to interact on a personal, 1 to 1 level with the patient. All that said, I don't understand how she didn't learn English through immersion at least. Hearing it spoken all the time in those 45 years, at least a little bit should have trickled in. The only thing I can guess is that she purposefully isolated herself by living in a community that only spoke her language. Now reverse that, and imagine I were to live in Mexico for 45 years and refuse to learn the language. Wouldn't I be seen as intolerant and xenophobic? How much sympathy would I garner?

  • 1. Spanish is one of, if not the most beautiful sounding languages in the world. 2. I can’t bear the fact that same-gender couples are considered ‘Diverse’ i mean i tried many times and I can’t. But ight. Whole universe is just an illusion.....

  • Guess who else doesn't speak English? Mute people. Also, being a doctor who speaks the patient's native language or is connected with a medical translating service is a big part of patient care!

  • This doctor handled this situation very pourly and the fact that this woman did not get de medical attention she needed is not ok. But I do see where the doctor comes from. I'm a nurse in Belgium and we get a lot of patients who do not speak Dutch in the hospital. At that moment we all try to communicate with these patients. But sometimes it's just not possible, and we are very happy if the family can translate. It just not possible to have family with the patient 24/7. Also, we sometimes see that the patient acts different when he/she is with family or not. So in that way I can see how it is hard for a doctor to treat a patient. But again, if this is the only way to communicate with a patient it is the way to do it!

  • You should speak the language of the country you live in which is English.

  • The doctor has a point about living here for X-many years and not speaking any English....*HOWEVER,* It is not his job to harass and berate his patients for it. In fact, it's not his job to bring it up *AT ALL.* That kind of attitude is something you need to check *at the door.* Your primary job is to help the patients and one of the ways to do that is to provide culturally competent/sensitive care. I truly hope this doctor got fired for his actions.

  • I just don't understand why coming to a country that speaks mainly English you wouldn't want to learn it. If I had to move to another country I would want to learn at lest enough of the language to get by. I have had speech impediment scine I was a baby and its hard for me to speak other languages (Ex: I can't not roll my R's so I can't learn to speak Spanish I do know a tiny bit and understand more then I can speak) but I would try my best to learn what I could.

  • You tell them, Dr. Mike! Whatever that doctor had said was under elitist bullshit mentality. Horrible! But I am glad you are sticking up for all the people who don’t know how to speak certain languages well enough to communicate. Thank you for being a good example!

  • Hell, I've been treated worse by Indian doctors than any others. Especially women!

  • Doctor Mike binge 2019 :-)

  • If Americans went to a different country and didn’t speak there language we would get treated like this as well . It’s not a race issue it’s just a ignorance issue. People get upset and frustrated when we can’t communicate with someone. In this case she had a translated but what if she didn’t. I have a guy that I work with and he’s one of my best friend and he’s been in America 15 years and he can speak English so she’s an adult and it’s harder to learn a language is not an excuse

  • I can see both sides . 45 years. You should be able to speak English. But the doctor should have been a little more patient. It’s frustrating

  • Of course it’s an old fart found the problem y’all it’s this old sh**head

  • Me: Wow I'm sad now Mami: Hey I might go back to the clinic again Me: *Smiles like Deku*

  • This is so profoundly heartbreaking. I can never claim to understand what it's like to be a racial minority in America, but I have been neglected once before at an ER for coming in with my same sex partner. I waited for 2 hours, had some blood drawn, waited another 7 for them to tell me I was just fine and then sent home. I was not acknowledged or spoken to any of the hours that I waited and the nurse who initially asked me who I was with made homophobic comments. I had pneumonia and was admitted in a different hospital two days later. Discrimination in the medical industry could be life threatening.

  • Actually in germany, two thirds of med students are female

  • Racist? Maybe but that’s not what I’d call his behavior. To be more accurate, he had a god complex, unprofessional, arrogant, judgmental and overall was a jackass. I’d fire him just for being as unprofessional as he was because that kind of conduct has no business in the medical field.

  • daddt

  • I was in Miami FL somewhere around 1989 or so,3yo little girl who didn't really speak English yet, (I'm originally from Finland but had somewhat bilingual upbringing) and I got an ear infection. We went to the local doctors office with my mom and there was absolutely no problems at all! Oh no, that's not right, the one problem was the taste of the cough medicine, I can still taste it! Mut overall my experiences have been good and I hope everyone else has the right for good healthcare no matter the language they speak. Especially if they bring their own translator, that's good I think, then the doctor does not have to do anything but listen and behave. Good video, всего́ хоро́шего!

  • I know Spanish and I used to translate for my mom but it was hard for me. One time I went to translate for my dad and i was glad that they had an iPad translator. Also I love you Doctor Mike for the way you think 😭

  • I wonder if he would support affirmative action for more male nurses, reducing the number of female nurse jobs made available.

  • OK. What this doctor thought is what many of us would think. The problem is he said it out loud. How could you live in a country for 45 years and not learn the language? How lazy are you? You keep a thought like that to yourself. But I agree with the thought, just not with how he handled it.

  • You can't diagnose someone that can't understand you. You cannot rely on an non-proffessional interpreter because you cannot verify the validity of the interpretation. That simple. Learn english in english speaking countries. Allowing people to have services when they don't want to assimilate only further produces a culture of people who won't assimilate.

  • "but it's not the same" and here he is right ... when you try to diagnose or analyse a situation .. playing the telephone game can lead to disastrous decisions / wrong diagnoses..

  • Of course the doctor was in the wrong. I'm not sure what other side of the story would make that okay. It did surprise me though, 45 years and every time she needs to go somewhere, her daughter needs to translate? Not my place to judge but that's crazy

  • Should they learn english? probably. Was it the doctors place to argue about it? definitely not.

  • Not trying to justify the doctor, but why would you move to a country where (even if it doesn't has any official language) MOST people speak ONLY English, and not care at all to learn the language? That would only make you a burden and a bother for your family and everyone around you if they have to follow you anywhere you go because you can't communicate with anyone, that is just selfish and arrogant. By the way, I'm a native Spanish speaker like the patients, but I still hate that kind of attitude. In more than 40 years she never learned even a bit of basic English? That means that in those 40 years she never interacted (nor care to interact) with anyone other than other hispanic people. Now as Medical Student, one of the first things we are taught is that we should treat everyone equaly well no matter their age, gender, race, religion, ideology, etc. We are doing a work and a service, not a favor, so we have to do it well. If the doctor has any prejudice against hispanic people or "foreigners" as a whole (which he can have, he's just human, hateful by nature), he should have just kept his prejudice to himself, call for an interpreter if that was his problem, and treat the patient like any other, and there wouldn't have been any problem.

  • All this because a doc asked you a legit question ? jesus