This patient is not happy with Indian physicians. This is a pretty controversial letter to the editor in a Tennessee newspaper. I bought the article, so it can be discussed here:

Doctors need to be able to understand English

According to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, 38 percent of physicians now practicing in the United States are Indians. I have no objection to the racial background of these physicians. I do question their motivation – surely doctors are needed in their native country where many of them were fortunate enough to receive their medical training. Physicians are almost worshiped by many in India, so while prestige there might be greater, the financial return here must be overwhelmingly larger.

There is a general disregard for women in India that may be problematical for American women under the care of male Indian physicians who grew up in that culture. Our native-born doctors are guilty enough of slighting their women patients in many ways, but they were at least reared in an atmosphere where equal treatment and respect were given lip service.

There is the language barrier. Although reaping financial benefits, which would provide a private language tutor, many foreign-born physicians still speak heavily accented English. If they speak so poorly, is their understanding adequate?

Do they understand the nuance of the language well enough to catch that important clue to a patient’s condition? Can medical care be adequate when the doctor cannot understand the patient’s speech, and vice versa?

Anyone who wishes to practice medicine in the United States should understand and abide by the cultural standards of the United States – at least in dealing with patients. He/she should be able to think clearly in the English language, and speak clearly enough to be understood easily. Foreign physicians reap a rich reward here; the least they can do in return is respect patients by following these standards.

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