Thursday Born

The everyday life of a medical student (who was born on a Thursday).

Even Women Doctors are still People Too

with 2 comments

About a week ago I went to a Women in Medicine lunch talk . There were five different women doctors on the panel, and the entire talk was question and answer format. Essentially all the questions had to do with marriage and having children (2 of the 5 did not have children; one could not, the other seems to want to but hasn’t started planning to yet), yet despite that, one of the main messages I got was simply that women doctors are people too, just like women are people, and doctors are people. Women Doctors are not some special grouping of human. Some of them enjoy four months of time off with their newborn babies and hesitate to go back to work. Some can’t wait to be back after just two weeks. Some are single mothers. Some are part-time doctors (one had a ~20hr/week contract). Some are part-time doctors but work full time, doing other things on the side (and not necessarily research, which was cool to see as an option. I really like the idea of doing public health and other community things). They are heads of their departments. They are married to doctors or to non-doctors.

Some of the other things they emphasized:

1) Don’t worry about finding a significant other. You will. It may take till you’re 35 (as in the case of one of the doctors) or older, but it will happen.

2) Think about how much time you actually want to spend with your children. It varies from person to person.

3) A nanny can be a wonderful thing.

4) Don’t pick your career (ie, specialty) based on lifestyle. You can make your life work with whatever you want. (I think this was a bit misleading though. I think the real thing is to know what makes you feel fulfilled and prioritize that, and if that thing comes along with a demanding career, you’ll make it work).

5) None of them really felt that they were discriminated against or had any specific hardships that were because they were women.

I’m always interested in learning what the life of an actual doctor looks like, woman or man, so I really enjoyed the talk even though I didn’t come away with any grand epiphanies or revelations about my future as a woman doctor. I think one of my favorite things to learn about was doing part-time work not just so that you can spend the rest of your time raising children, but so that you can do other non-doctoring things that you want to do.

And before you go, I just wanted to show off my delicious dinner from the other night, through a much better picture courtesy of the camera my parents bought me for my birthday. It’s the newest version of my previous camera, so it’s somewhat familiar, but has some nicely updated features, and all in all, I’m happy with it. 🙂 The fish was a frozen tilapia fillet broiled in my toaster oven with a butter+mayo+olive oil+ parmesan +seasonings sauce. Not my usual way to cook fish, but I was wanting something cheesy since a few nights before I’d thought I was going to have pizza for dinner and I didn’t. This didn’t quite get rid of the craving, but it certainly was healthier.


Written by Aba

October 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Oh my gosh… I JUST wrote a similarly-themed post!! So funny. I really enjoyed reading their advice 🙂

    Maybe some day, there WILL be no such thing as a “woman in medicine,” and we really will just be “people in medicine.” But I think the realities of our society right now are that women still do have a tougher time excelling. Now that women make up 50% of med school classes, in the upcoming generation when we start becoming department chairs, hospital CEO’s, etc., I think things will even out.


    November 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    • Ah yes! I read your post yesterday, and then read all the comments. There was a lot of solid advice in there. 🙂

      Things will definitely even out in the future. I think that things have evened out quite a bit within the field of medicine itself, but the outside issues (significant others, children) will take longer.


      November 9, 2010 at 12:10 am

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