Race trouble : experiences of black medical specialist trainees in South Africa
CITATION: Thackwell, N., et al. 2016. Race trouble: experiences of Black medical specialist trainees in South Africa. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 16:31, doi:10.1186/s12914-016-0108-9.
The original publication is available at http://bmcinthealthhumrights.biomedcentral.com
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: This research aimed to identify and explore the experiences of Black registrars in their training in the Western Cape’s academic hospitals in order to identify structures, practices, attitudes and ideologies that may promote or impede the advancement of Black doctors into specialist medicine. This is justified by the requirement for universities to work towards monitoring and evaluating efforts to create non-discriminatory and inclusive training environments. Methods: This study employed qualitative research methods. Ten Black African medical specialists were interviewed about their training experiences in two university training hospitals in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Interview data was collected using open-ended questions and coded and analysed using thematic and critical discursive analysis techniques. Results: Four experiential themes emerged from the interview data, they included: 1) experiences of everyday racism during work hours, 2) the physical and psychological effects of tokenism and an increased need to perform, 3) institutional racism as a result of inconsistent and unclear methods of promotion and clinical competence building, and 4) an organisational culture that was experienced as having a race and gender bias. Conclusion: This is a pilot study and there are limits on the generalizability of the data due to the small sample. What is clear from our participants, though, is the strong experiential component of finding it challenging to be a Black trainee in a White-dominated profession. We are undertaking further research to explore the issues raised in more detail.