Nick Ferrari rows with medical student who says 'going blue' term is racist

18 August 2020, 11:56

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A doctor who claims the term 'going blue' to describe symptoms of cyanosis is racist has been accused by Nick Ferrari of wanting to erase parts of the curriculum.

Ore Odubiyi, a doctor in training at the University of Bristol, said the term highlights how medical education was written by and for white people and often disregards differing symptoms between races.

She used cyanosis - a condition that turns the skin blue in white patients and grey/white in non-white patients - as an example.

She highlighted how medical students are taught the term 'going blue' as a blanket phrase, but that this was incorrect and could lead to doctors missing symptoms in non-white patients.

She told Nick Ferrari: As well as teaching that people who have paler skin colours, we need to also supplmeent this with how this will manifest differently with people of different skin colours.

"This is not a way to erase the fact that this is how it present in people with fairer or white skin tones, but this is to make the picture much more fuller and much more holistic."

Nick Ferrari fell out with a medical student over the term 'going blue'
Nick Ferrari fell out with a medical student over the term 'going blue'. Picture: LBC/PA Images

It follows calls from other medical students at The University of Bristol Medical School to turn the curriculum 'anti-racist' and account for non-white patients, but Nick Ferrari claims the group wants to erase parts of medical training that relate to white people.

He said to Ms Odubiyi: "When we started our conversation you did concur that 'going blue' was a racist term and has to be dropped, but how could that be if it happens to a white patient?"

The medical student said she did not want the teaching of the condition in white people to be dropped, but said using the term 'going blue' as a blanket phrase is "inherently racist" and does not represent around 20% of the population.

"We have to understand that in order to treat every single patient that we come across, we also need to make sure that we're given the adequate information," she added.

Responding to the claims, the Medical School Council and the General Medical Council said they are putting plans in place to make medical training more inclusive.

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