"He should see an orthopedist," the doctor told me.
"Could you give us a referral?" I asked.
"Oh, yes. Try Dr. Rockport. He shares a practice with Dr. Smith. And Dr. Oh. He's Korean."
We drove home wondering what in the world could have motivated that extra unnecessary bit of information. Here are the choices:
- He was anticipating our confusion over the doctor's "foreign" name.
- He figured that since I was Asian, I might prefer an Asian doctor.
- He thought I might buy into the smart Asian doctor stereotype.
- It was racist. He would never have said, "And Dr. Oh. He's black."
- All of the above.
Coming after a strange incident on vacation last week when a stranger instructed me in strident tones to "go back to your f---ing country," I'm feeling a bit discouraged about life between cultures in these United States.