A Woman’s Work!!

A Woman’s Work!!

Women’s News: Sorry… But Are You Really a Doctor?

Women’s News: Sorry… But Are You Really a Doctor?

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Women’s News: Sorry… But Are You Really a Doctor?


Penny Wilson

General practitioner and obstetrician

Sometimes I get the distinct impression that the general public believes that doctors graduate from medical school as middle aged men. It’s understandable really. After all, that’s what TV has taught us…

This attitude presents itself repeatedly in social situations. Many times when meeting new people I have mentioned that I work at the local hospital or GP clinic, only to be met with the response, “Oh, are you a receptionist there?” “Er, no, I’m a doctor there.” “Oh.”

… Awkward!

As a junior hospital doctor, it was an almost daily occurrence that patients would mistake me for a nurse, student, or anything other than a doctor. Many female doctors would be familiar with these scenarios:

  • You enter a patient’s room and they are on the phone. They end their call by saying “I gotta go, the nurse is here to see me.”
  • You spend 45 minutes with a patient taking a history, performing an examination, taking bloods, explaining their diagnosis and management plan. Then they say “Ok, when do I get to see the doctor?”
  • Having to repeatedly deflect groping hands, flirty comments and admiring looks up and down from overly friendly male patients who care more about what you look like than what your job title is.

Unfortunately, introducing yourself as a doctor, wearing an ID badge that says “Doctor Such-and-Such,” draping a stethoscope around your neck and wearing a uniform that has “DOCTOR” embroidered on it does not prevent these assumptions from occurring. The overwhelming evidence of you being young and female apparently overrides all of those other more subtle clues as to your occupation.

Then there are the patients who subtly check that you are qualified to treat them by asking something like “so… how long have you been a doctor for?” I’m always secretly gratified by their surprise and sudden change of attitude when I tell them that I’ve been a doctor for seven years and that I’ve done 12 years of training and study to become fully-qualified as a GP obstetrician. Both myself and a friend of mine have, on separate occasions, been asked “Sorry… but are you really a doctor? A medical doctor?” when responding to in-flight calls for medical assistance. Some patients just come straight out and say “you look way too young to be a doctor.”

I don’t really mind patients thinking I look young. After all, I am still very early in my career and have many years ahead of me. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be disappointed when patients stop telling me I look young. Haha.

The thing that bothers me the most is when my age or gender affects how I’m perceived by co-workers and colleagues, people who should know better! Anecdotally, female junior doctors seem to get a tougher time of it than their male counterparts. For instance, many of my peers (both male and female) have reported that female interns and residents seem to have to work harder to earn the respect of some nurses. Personally, I have felt at times like I’ve had to prove myself more than my male peers. As an intern, I also had my entirely male surgical team make jokes about whether or not I was pregnant because on one occasion I got a little light headed in theatre during a five-hour operation! The resident expected me to make him coffee in the morning and the consultant told me that I was a great intern but would never make a good surgeon due to my delicate constitution. Unbelievable!

I thought that this would improve with time as I became more senior, and generally it has. Every now and then, though, it does still crop up. During my caesarean lists at Bentley, theatre staff would often look to my male colleague for instructions even when I was the primary surgeon and he was my assistant.

Recently, I was the only obstetrician in a small country town for a few days and was covering the roster on my own. I had booked a patient for a caesarean section for the Friday morning and had organised theatre staff, anaesthetics and a surgical assistant. Another (older male) GP obstetrician arrived that morning and — despite the fact that I was still the duty obstetric doctor — said “Well you’ll be assisting me, then.” I was quite affronted by his apparent assumption that either (a) I wasn’t qualified to do caesareans, or (b) that he somehow had more right to do it then me. I had to assert that: no, as the duty doctor, I would be doing the caesarean, but that he was most welcome to cancel his clinic patients so that he could assist me if he liked.

Doesn’t he know that young, slightly neurotic and clumsy women make brilliant obstetricians?

Luckily, the vast majority of interactions with colleagues and patients are mutually respectful and rewarding, and these relationships only get better with time. But, if we’ve only just met, please don’t make judgements about my skills or competence based on my age and/or gender. And patients, please realize that doctors come in all different shapes and sizes, not just middle aged men!

I would love to hear from you if you have been treated differently because of your demographics. Or have I got it all wrong? All opinions welcome!

From a few of the comments on my original post it seems that some people have misinterpreted my words as being disrespectful towards nurses. I’d like to just clarify that I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for my nursing and midwifery colleagues who do an amazing job and who have saved my butt more times than I can recall. I certainly don’t feel insulted to be called a nurse. In fact, when I was promoted to “honorary midwife” on my maternity unit I took it as a huge compliment. I refer you to this excellent blog post which articulates all the reasons why doctors and nurses are different, and why they should be recognized for those differences.

The point I’m trying to make is that assumptions about your professional capability (in any field) should not be judged on looks, gender, age, or any other demographic characteristic, but rather on the way you do your job. I plan to keep on being the best damn doctor I can be and proving those misconceptions wrong and, I will defend to my last breath everyone else’s right to do the same.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-wilson/women-doctors_b_3652779.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

A Woman’s Work!!


By Kimberly Seabrooks

The Fight for Equality for Women in the Workplace

A lot has happened over the last 100 years for women in the workplace. Women are able to choose any career that they want, whether it is to choose a traditionally female orientated job, like nursing, or opt for a ‘male career’, such as engineering. The problem is men and women still aren’t quite treated equally.

It Is Harder for Women to Get a Job

There is still the view of some that a woman’s place is in the home. Even women have this view! Women are there to cook, clean and look after the children. They’re given longer time off work for maternity and it can be a problem for employers. Bosses would simply rather hire a man or give him the promotion, despite the woman being just as good.

The Fight for Pay Equality

There are also many women who, despite the law stating the contrary, are paid less than their male counterparts. They do all the same work and are expected to offer the same quality but are paid less for their work. It is harder for women to negotiate their pay rise, usually because they could fall pregnant at any time or have to take time out of work to look after their sick children.

Employers in Europe are not allowed to ask women about their plans for a family. They’re not allowed to ask about whether a woman is planning to start a family or whether she could currently be pregnant. There is the fear of discrimination should that happen. However, there are many women who choose to volunteer the information if it works in favour of the employer in hopes of getting better pay.

Is Workplace Discrimination Getting Any Better?

Despite the laws being changed, employers still have the traditional views. While they wouldn’t openly admit it, many bosses anonymously share that they would rather hire a man and will pay him more over a woman. It’s not that women can’t do the job—there are many who are much better than their male counterparts—but the risk of the woman taking time out for her family is too costly for the company.

Until the law changes where men and women can take the same amount of time out, such as couples being allowed to share leave after having a child, the situation will never become perfect. Women will always be seen as the riskier and more expensive sex.

Women’s News: 7 Signs That Dating Won’t Necessarily Lead to a Relationship


Jill Knapp

Adjunct Professor in Psychology, Author

When it comes to dating, we women think we are pretty good at telling which “signs” are pointing to a future relationship. After dating someone for a while, we begin to think we have an understanding of what actions are those of a potential boyfriend, and which actions are those of a potential heartbreaker. For example, I know that I, and a few of my girlfriends, have been in the position of dating a guy for a few months, with no talk of being exclusive. But even when there’s no talk of exclusivity, or in some cases, an explicit declaration from them about not wanting to be exclusive, we still chat with our friends over lunch about all the “signs” we got from them on our latest date.

Before I was married, I experienced a lot of these signs from many unattainable men. Men that made me think if I just stuck it out, they would end up becoming my boyfriend. But it never happened. No matter how many signs I thought I saw on the highway to love, they always ended up being dead ends. In all honestly, the best sign of interest anyone can ever give you is an honest declaration of their feelings for you. Now, don’t think I mean they should rent a billboard or learn how to play a musical instrument and sing you a song about how much they want to marry you. I just mean a simple and direct, “I like you, and I want to be in a relationship with you.” Obviously, it takes some people longer than others to open up and let someone in. But if you’ve been dating for a while now and you haven’t had that talk about exclusivity or where you stand, then don’t put all of your stock into the “signs.”

So, here are some of the “signs” I, and friends of mine, have seen while dating someone and misread.

1. He holds your hand.

Don’t think that just because someone is holding your hand while walking through the park one day that they aren’t holding someone else’s at the movies that night.

2. He invites you on a trip with his friends

While I myself have not experienced this, a few of my friends have. Being invited camping, skiing or anywhere where you can be treated like “one of the guys” might not necessarily turn out in your favor. Especially when you’re on a group trip with a bunch of people you don’t know. You can end up feeling alienated.

3. He cooks you breakfast in the morning

We’ve all been there. You don’t mean to sleep over, but it’s getting late, or it’s really cold outside or you just can’t fathom taking the subway at this hour. The next thing you know, you wake up wearing his old NYU T-Shirt and he’s frying eggs and brewing fresh coffee in his kitchen. Don’t confuse good manners with romantic feelings. Yes, it’s sweet that he didn’t send you packing the moment you woke up, but unless your eggs came with a side of commitment, don’t read too much into this.

4. He takes you apartment/house-hunting with him

It’s very strange, but it does happen. Every now and then, a guy’s lease will be up and he’ll ask you to accompany him on his search for the perfect condo. He’ll say things like, “I care about your opinion on the place,” or “When I move in, I’m sure it will need a woman’s touch.” This has trap written all over it. I had a guy do this to me the day after my birthday one year. We ended things a week later after five months of him telling me he wasn’t sure he was ready for a relationship.

5. He cuddles you while you’re sleeping

There’s nothing more comforting then falling asleep next to someone you care about while they stroke your hair or even wrap their arms around you. But comforting or not, this display of emotion may be nothing to write home about. Sometimes, people just like to have something to hold. Sometimes, people like to have all of the benefits of a relationship without any of the responsibility of one. And unfortunately sometimes, a hug is just a hug.

6. You ask him a question about his feelings for you and instead of giving you an answer, he kisses you.

For some reason, movies and television have perpetuated this throughout the years. I’m sorry, but a kiss is not an answer!

7. He brings you as his date to a wedding.

While some men believe bringing a date to a wedding is like bringing sand to the beach, others cannot stand to face a party stag. And while at the ceremony, your eyes may tear when hearing the sweet exchange of the bride and groom’s vows and you grab your date’s hand tighter and he smiles, this doesn’t mean he’s thinking of getting married himself.

I’ve seen guys come to a wedding with one woman and leave with another at the end of the night (it actually happened at my wedding!). If you’re really feeling romantic at the end of the night, ask the guy flat out how he feels about being with you. If he really wants to be with you, you won’t need any signs at all.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-knapp/7-signs-that-dating-wont-necessarily-lead-to-a-relationship_b_3654645.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women


A Message From The Creator


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