Associate professor, Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University
ER physicians have emerged as the tip of the spear for many of society’s worst problems, and none wield that weapon quite like Dr. Esther Choo.
A key player in Time’s Up Healthcare, she’s a fierce researcher on sexual harassment and gender inequity in medicine. And while she has published articles about these issues in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and Harvard Business Review, she shines brightest on Twitter.
Shortly after 2018’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, she tweeted about the times she, an Asian-American physician, encountered a number of Oregon’s white supremacists who refused to be treated by her. The thread went viral, opening candid conversations in emergency departments around the U.S. about abuse and discrimination — from patients, other providers and healthcare employers.
Just as importantly, Choo has publicly encouraged providers to admit they’re exhausted. “I cannot tolerate messages about resilience or toughness right now. I don’t need mindfulness tips. I’m not fine, as none of us are,” she wrote in a recent tweet.
“Not a superhero, just a normal human,” Choo added. “And am not going to pretend otherwise.”