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A Study of Muslim Physician Experiences in Academic Medicine

Project Overview

Workplace discrimination obstructs fairness and negatively impacts employee health, while policies that accommodate (i.e. support) worker identities foster respect and hospitality. Using Muslim physicians’ experiences as a case study, we will identify shortcomings concerning the accommodation of religious identity in general, and of Muslim practices in particular, within academic medical centers. This project is funded by the Greenwall Foundation through the Making a Difference program.

Project Significance

  • Build upon our prior national survey of American Muslim physicians.
    1. 24 % of American Muslim physicians (n=255) have reported discrimination at work because of their religion

    2. 9% of American Muslim physicians (n=255) have reported their patients refused their care because of their religious identity.

  • Determine best practices and policy enhancements for reducing discrimination and improving the accommodation of physician religious identity in healthcare systems.

2013 Study Background

Read more about the study at the project’s Website

  • First to examine the relationships between religiosity and workplace discrimination through the experiences of American Muslim physicians


  • Survey was mailed to a randomized sample from the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA)


  • Study demonstrated that a significant minority of Muslim clinicians experience religious discrimination at work, and particularly those for whom their religion is most important

Preliminary Findings

Demographics of Participants and Report on Healthcare Discrimination


  • The tables below compares the demographic characteristics and experiences with discrimination between our two national surveys (2013 vs 2021):

Comparisons Between 2013 and 2021 Participants


  • Physicians in the 2021 sample are younger in age and more ethnically and religiously diverse

  • A greater number of participants reported experiencing workplace discrimination due to their religion compared to 2013

  • A greater percentage of Muslim physicians are reporting more experiences of workplace discrimination compared to 2013


Meet the Project Team

Laila Azam, PhD, MBA

Research Scientist

Benish Baqai

Medical Student at the Medical College of Wisconsin

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