Washington D.C: A new study has found that nearly half of American Muslim doctors feel scrutinized on the job.
While many studies have examined the impact of bias based on race, gender or sexual orientation, religious discrimination in the health care workplace has received little research attention.
The study conducted at the University of Chicago finds that for Muslim Americans, even those in one the nation's most highly regarded professions, encounter a less-than-inclusive and welcoming work environment during their career.
In a national survey of 255 Muslim American physicians, researchers found that nearly half of respondents felt greater scrutiny at work compared to their peers. Nearly one in four said workplace religious discrimination had taken place sometimes - or more - often during their career. The same percentage of Muslim American physicians believes they have been passed over for career advancement due to their religion. The likelihood of religious discrimination over one's career was greater among the respondents who consider their religion to be a very important part of their lives.
Notably, the study found that neither indications of religious practice (such as a more frequent habit of performing ritual prayer) nor religious appearance (such as wearing a beard or hijab, a headscarf worn by some Muslim women) was associated with perceived religious discrimination at the health care workplace.
Study author Aasim Padela said that it's further evident that the acknowledgement of the religious identity of one's co-workers should be an added focus within workforce diversity efforts that today focus primarily on reducing discrimination directed at racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation identities.
The study is published online in the journal AJOB Empirical Bioethics.