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Many Muslim physicians see discrimination at work, survey finds

Of those surveyed, 24 percent reported discrimination over the course of their career, and 14 percent said they currently experience discrimination

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

A new study by the Taylor and Francis Group shows 14 percent of Muslim physicians are experiencing discrimination, and the results also show the discrimination was more rampant among respondents for whom their Muslim faith was paramount.

Officially called "Religious identity and workplace discrimination: A national survey of American Muslim physicians", the study involved a questionnaire that was mailed at random to 626 members of the Islamic Medical Association of North America in 2013.  It included such topics as religious accommodation in the workplace, religiosity, perceived religious discrimination, and even discrimination-related job turnover. The survey found 255 physicians responded, 70 percent of whom were men. Of those surveyed almost 90 percent considered Islam to most important part of their life or a very important part, and 63 percent prayed five times a day.

Of those surveyed, 24 percent reported discrimination over the course of their career, with 14 percent saying they currently experience workplace discrimination.

[Also: HHS moves to bar discrimination against transgender patients]

Taylor and Francis does point out that the study is only a first step in understanding what discrimination might be at play in healthcare settings.

"Further research is needed to undergird data-driven programs and policies that might reduce invidious, religion-directed discrimination in the healthcare workplace," authors said. However, even after adjusting the survey results for "personal and practice characteristics", those for whom religion was a top or close-to-top priority were still more likely to suffer discrimination, the study said. 

A handful even reported job turnover.