A man and his son were in a car crash. The father died, but the son was critically injured and rushed to hospital. When he reached the operating table, the doctor on duty looked at him and said "I can't operate on him, he's my son." How can this be?
I remember this "riddle" was a tiny detail in the The Office Special. Tim was asking Gareth the question and Gareth simply could not get it. If you still don't get it, boy, are you in trouble!
Since one of you already used the Salt-and-Pepa song, I've been relegated to using Color Me Badd. Thank you so much. Anyway, I thought this topic would be interesting, challenging, and would provide us all-- male and female-- with plenty of insights. It's not easy to talk about. The corollary to doctors being seen as more than (less than?) human is that female doctors are expected to swallow whatever bolus of shit society (medical or otherwise) throws at them. Male doctors are not exempt from their own pressures. It's not a weakness to acknowledge that these problems exist. It's more important to show our colleagues and future generations of physicians that yes, it can be done. It should be done. And here's the things we should stop doing. Here are the entries in order of submission:
- Dr. Em makes us ponder on how much demureness has infected the clinics and how it can harm our patients and sensible practice. She gives us great tips on how to overcome it.
- Dr. J.A. relates to us her struggles as the only female resident in the male-dominated field of Radiology. Her professionalism through it all is simply inspiring.
- Dr. Joey explores the difference between the perceived difficulty of being a mother and a doctor and the reality. The solution is as clear as figuring out the answer to the riddle above, if you can figure out how a problem works both ways.
- Dr. Megamom wonders why the inequity in medical student admission exists as it contradicts some observations on society. Somehow actual skill and talent is overlooked and it all becomes a matter of uteri!
- Dr. Prudence offers introspection as a solution to the pervasive gender biases in medical specialties. The question is, are these stereotypes pervasive simply because they are self-actualizing?
- Dr. Remo explores the root of the problem of gender insensitivity in male-dominated specialties and offers interesting solutions.
- Dr. Che wisely discusses how gender sensitivity is not the same as gender blindness, which is a slippery slope when you discuss equality.
- Dr. Ness gives us a few vignettes as evidence of gender inequality in medicine, and I found myself snickering at them. However, what's scary is that these seem to be completely sensible to some!
- Dr. Gigi also knows more than a bit about being a woman in a man's world. How does she handle it? Well, her colleagues all have one particular soft spot! Kidding. Read on to find out how.
- Dr. Manggy shares five anecdotes about gender issues in medicine and how his own over-analytical view of things makes what is unnoticeable to some colorful in his eyes.
- Dr. Meloinks notes the discrepancy between women's lib and reality, and the advances we make in medicine while retaining other traditions.
It was truly a pleasure reading your entries and I'm glad we got this out in the open. Maybe the next time we hear the following in the operating room:
"Hija, do you have a boyfriend?"
"You're retracting like a girl!"
We can shake ourselves the notion that it's just normal to say these things and think to ourselves (or out loud, if you dare), "WTF?"
I'm going to comment on the posts I haven't yet-- today has been an exhausting day. Thanks.