Health Care Experience Discrimination of Middle Eastern Women Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the types of discriminatory behaviors that Middle Eastern American (MEA) women experience in health care settings. The framework of systemic racismand more specifically, the white racial framewas used to interpret the data. In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 MEA women to gather insight into their discrimination-related experiences in the U.S. health care system. Participants reported numerous examples of both covert and overt discrimination and anti-Middle Eastern racial framing among physicians. Several themes related to the possible triggers of the discrimination emerged, specifically names, language, and accent; national origin; lack of cultural awareness; and appearance. Findings suggest that discrimination in health care settings greatly affects health outcomes; for instance, in this study, reported lack of compliance with follow-up appointments or medication was a major result of perceived discriminatory attitudes and behaviors of physicians. Culturally sensitive care recommendations and a reframing of health care providers attitudes toward minority patients are needed to address the discriminatory attitudes and behaviors reported in this study.

published proceedings

  • Women's Health and Urban Life

author list (cited authors)

  • Kalbasi, S.

complete list of authors

  • Kalbasi, Shaida

publication date

  • January 2017