Some patients wait until Dr. Jerome Chelliah snaps on his gloves to make the request. Others blurt it out as soon as he walks in the exam room.
“I’d rather see a female doctor,” they say.
Chelliah thinks he can be a sensitive obstetrician-gynecologist even though he’s a man. But he has no choice but to comply.
“I’ve been rejected many times over,” he said. “As a person of color, I face discrimination in other ways, but it’s not so blatant.… People have no problem saying they don’t want you.”
Chelliah is in a field of medicine where all the patients are female, and it’s more possible than ever for them to demand female doctors.
In 1970, 7% of gynecologists…