Yes, I'm Asian
- By: Robin Som
It's happened often enough to get slightly irksome. I meet someone new; I go through the formalities of small talk; and the question of what I study arises. I say that I'm a medical student. Then there it is-the smirk-followed by, “Oh, I should've guessed.”
This isn't because every time I meet someone I take their history. No, it's because I'm Asian. I'm not paranoid-press the irritant on their reasoning, and they'll honestly state that my ethnicity is the give away.
The assumption that a lot of Asians study medicine, though somewhat unreasonable, should be expected. In 2003, 22% of medical students accepted were Asian-that is, originally from the Indian sub-continent-according to a 2004 BMA discussion paper.
Talking to many medical students, it seems that the freedom to make the choice of medicine or not is race related. Non-Asian medical students normally say that their parents were happy for them