When the receptionist told the patient that Dr. Krishan was, in fact, Scottish, the patient responded with a dismissive: “She doesn’t look Scottish.”
To this, the receptionist replied: “What do Scottish people look like?” According to Dr. Krishan, the receptionist’s response silenced the patient, who then immediately took their appointment card.
In an interview with BBC, Dr. Krishan noted that this was not the first time she had experienced prejudicial treatment from others.
“I am aware that it happens across the board but we rarely talk about it,” she was quoted as saying. “There is no reason or place for it.”
In an article for the Huffington Post, Dr. Krishan recalled that when she wrote a column for “The Scotsman” about GP burnout last year, the comments section on the newspaper’s website was bombarded with a slew of racist comments. The site was forced to disable commenting on the post.
According to Dr. Krishan, she was deeply “haunted” by some of the remarks made by the racist netizens. She found the reaction to her latest post encouraging after it received over 54,000 likes and retweeted more than 8,400 times in just 24 hours. “I have had a very positive response which is so uplifting,” she revealed. “Scotland is my home. It is a beautiful, multicultural, diverse nation and ultimately we all need to work together for something like the NHS. “Disease does not pick a gender and disease does not pick a color. When you strip it back we are all human.”
When some netizens suggested that the patient should have been told to find a new GP practice, Dr. Krishan pointed out that she intends to focus on fulfilling a duty of care to her patients. “It is important to treat the person before me and see that they are safe and well. It is not right to turn someone away who needs help,” she noted. “My receptionist put this person in their place and they left with some food for thought.”