A conversation at the end of a clinic. A meeting in the corridor. A chat over dinner. A casual whatsapp message. A conversation between colleagues began; here is a little about who we are and what brought us to this group. We are all Paediatricians and we all live and work in the North West of England, UK. We all have different experiences and stories and we all want to learn and listen.
Dr Yetunde Odutolu
I am a Nigerian born paediatric intensive care doctor with an interest in global health, health inequalities. I was delighted to be asked to join in the conversation about race, health and discrimination in the NHS. My ethnicity means that these issues have always been at the forefront of my mind and in recent years as a senior clinician I am acutely aware of how these subtle factors affect staff morale and most importantly health outcomes. My hope is that by joining in the dialogue about race, we can help reduce the anxiety around discussing these issues, give voice to marginalised colleagues and patients and ultimately drive positive change both for us all.
Dr Lina See
As a general Paediatrician in the northwest of Malaysian Chinese heritage, I have an internationally diverse outlook, and training as foreign doctor in the NHS for the last decade, I am not unfamiliar with the social inequalities that exist in our institution. Recent events globally have highlighted the need to address this issue due to it’s far ranging impact, from staff wellbeing to patient care. I chose to partake in paediatricdialogueonrace as part my personal educational journey to instigate change from within, to address an uncomfortable subject that I feel is long overdue. I do this in hopes that it eventually translates to a cascade of conversation at an organisational level because paediatric medicine is ultimately a caring industry, and integral to Care is inclusivity that is non-discriminatory, encourages diversity and promotes equality.
Dr Rebecca Wilson
I am a general paediatrician from a white British background. Lockdown, COVID and the global surge of the Black Lives Matter movement brought to head a complex mix of emotions for me: everything from anger and shame to hope and optimism. I wanted to try to do something that would use those emotions in a positive way. My hope that this project will provide us with a space to explore and acknowledge our own experiences, that of our colleagues and our patients and think about how we might make individual and collective changes to our lives and to the institutions in which we work. Conversations such as these are hard but it is clear that we have reached a moment in our history where inaction on racism is no longer acceptable.
Dr Eusra Hassan
I am a Paediatric neurology trainee, born in Iraq, raised in the UK and integrated in multiple cultures through family, marriage and friends. Inequalities between races and cultures have always been evident to me, but only in recent years have I had the courage to acknowledge and challenge conversations about race. The social inequalities that exist within our institution and for the patients that we care for play a huge role in the physical and mental well being of staff and patients alike.
I joined this fantastic team to take part in paediatric dialogue on race, as I could see that the various experiences that we have had individually has led us all to a common ground of wanting to create a safe environment for learning and discussion. My hope is that we can encourage positive change for us all now and also for future generations.
Dr Emily Whitehouse
Dr Avni Hindocha
I am a British born paediatrics trainee; my heritage is Indian and yet my parents were brought up in Malawi. My special interests in infectious diseases and public health have always drawn me to the positive aspects of diversity in race and culture. I celebrate the wonderful ethnic mix in this country and in the cities where I have had the opportunity to work.
However, as my journey continues, it is increasingly clear that certain differences are frequently to the detriment of our patients and colleagues, for reasons that often aren’t entirely clear or well understood. Of particular interest to me are the perceived differences in the experiences of the international doctors who prop up our health system compared to British born doctors.
I want to take part in this conversation to learn more about these subtleties and promote our collective survival and happiness as a group. I also wish for my son to be brought up in an even more open and culturally aware society than the one in which I was brought up.
Dr Aimee Donald
I am a Paediatric trainee in the North West and joined this team initially to help facilitate the conversation from a logistics perspective (setup the meetings, create a website, get us some attention etc).
On reflection it speaks volumes that I was someone who was in a position to facilitate this conversation - who would've thought the middle-class straight white girl at the table would have had some influence?
So I'm here to learn. I'm here to know what white privilege really is. I'm here to find out how I use my influence better. How to be anti-racist - to find out what that means and try to teach others too.