Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Racism in Medicine

Don’t call me Bibi—or anybody else, for that matter

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 11 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m535

Read all of the articles in our special issue on Racism in Medicine

  1. Fizzah Ali, neurology registrar
  1. London, UK
  1. fizzah.ali{at}
  2. Follow Fizzah on Twitter @DrFizzah

As medical students, our vocabulary expands exponentially to accommodate written exams and clinical assessments, but nothing prepared me for the slang I encountered on the wards in my foundation years. It was here that I first came across the term “Bibi-itis.” A decade later I found it was still being used.

It happened in the doctors’ office. I was scrolling through a list of patient referrals on my computer wondering out loud what undiagnosed entity awaited me in the emergency department. Beside me, my colleague asserted that the crucial diagnostic clue could be found in the patient’s name. In fact, he went on, that based on my race and my gender, if my name appeared on a list of …

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