An Indian doctor with vitiligo shares his story
“Growing up, my family sheltered and protected me with everything related to vitiligo. People never really asked me what happened to my skin. And, if I did get questions, I honestly did not know how to answer them, so I would say ‘oh, they’re just sunburn scars’ or some version of that story, and moved on. Thinking back, I probably was too supported and busy to really have an opportunity to be bothered by it. That, in itself, was a blessing. I pursued many years of schooling and training to ultimately become a practicing physician.
Now that I’ve been in medicine for many years, I primarily value and cherish the connection with my patients, as I sincerely believe medicine is fundamentally about the human experience. But, when I hear statements like ‘you don’t look Indian’ from patients, I am constantly reminded each time that I have vitiligo. Reflecting on how best to answer this question, I ask myself if I should react and explain the skin condition, or just let it go. The truth is that the majority of the time, I do ‘let it go’ when it comes to discussing my skin condition with patients. I simply don’t want to explain to patients that I have vitiligo.”
Dhaval Desai is a hospitalist.
He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, “The story of an Indian doctor with vitiligo.” (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/06/the-story-of-an-indian-doctor-with-vitiligo.html)