Another Female Doctor Has Credentials Questioned While Helping Sick Passenger
By Sharelle Burt
Here we go again. Another female doctor was asked for her credentials repeatedly by a flight attendant while helping a passenger in need.
Dr. Comilla Sasson was on a United Airlines flight to Houston when she saw a fellow passenger lying in the middle aisle. Immediately, she jumped into action and announced that she was a medical doctor. “I said right away, ‘Hey, I’m an ER doctor, how can I help?’ Sasson said. “And the flight attendant asked me three different times, ‘Are you a doctor? What kind of doctor are you?”
Frustrated by all the questioning, Sasson said the crew member then for asked her credentials, but she doesn’t carry with them with her all the time when she’s not working. The practicing emergency medicine doctor reassured the attendant that she was a doctor and she can check online if she must. “In my mind, spending five minutes literally would have been the difference between life and death for this person, potentially,” Sasson said.
The Denver doctor continued to work on the patient in spite of the constant questioning. She became even more annoyed when her request for medical supplies was taking too long. Once the plane landed, the doctor handed the patient off to paramedics who were waiting at the gate. It was then that she decided to show her credentials to the nosey crew.
Sasson said this isn’t the first time her profession was questioned. “Women, often times, are thought of as nurses. They’re not referred to as doctors,” Sasson stated. “So I think there’s a gender bias to it, and I do wonder if there’s something to the fact that I’m an Asian American, female doctor who came up and said ‘Hey, I want to help.’
These type of stories occur way too often. In October, an African American female doctor made headlines when her credentials were tested on board a Delta Airlines flight. Once her story went viral, several other doctors shared similar experiences.