Sunday, July 6, 2008

we've come a long way, baby


One upon a time, women were not allowed to vote. Or become doctors. Heck, women were not even allowed to go to school. Women were to stay at home, make babies and take care of babies.

Today we live in a day and age where women could be just as good as men. And vice versa. The same goes for gays and lesbians as well.

Or does it?

We may have come a long way from not allowing females to go to school and become doctors but we still have some ways to go before we can honestly say there is no more gender discrimination in medicine or in any career field for that matter.

For example:

1. Females would rather have a female obstetrician-gynecologist than a male OB-GYN.

2. Most female urologists are relegated to administrative positions rather than clinical practice. How many men do you know would prefer to have a female doctor examine their genitals when they're sick?

3. Surgery is still a male dominated specialty. Can you imagine a woman neurosurgeon standing for more than twelve hours doing a craniotomy? What if she has a breastfed baby at home and she has to pump milk and store it in the ref? What about when she's menstruating?

4. During my fellowship, I heard that a hospital was not accepting married females for residency or fellowship because they might get pregnant. Indeed. Williams and Novac never said a marriage licence is a prerequisite for fertilization.

As for the rest of the specialties I think the playing field should be about balanced for all possible genders, don't you agree?


5 comments:

MerryCherry, MD said...

Totally agree Doc. Although should be doesn't necessarily mean IS. But it's not bad right? Imagine living 100 years ago, we'd probably be stuck with only one option: stay at home. At least now, we have options :)

Rosana said...

I think gender discrimination in the professions happen because of cultural stereotyping. It could also be because of some inherent limitations of females, (i.e. female doc doing a 12-hour cranio as u mentioned) A female doc who's not attracted to surgery as specialty is just a product of gender stereotypes in our society. As long as this exists, then the macho man could never allow a female urologist "take care" of his man-ness while females will continue to doubt the credibility of a male OB-Gyne who never, ever had menstruation in his life and who could never experience first hand the painful uterine contractions during labor and delivery. :)

gigi said...

Thinking about it, it's a good thing we live in relatively less conservative times. Then again, one has got to admire the women who lived during those olden days and struggled to gain most of the rights and privileges that we enjoy at present, like having a career.

It could be better, I agree.

It's an honor for me to invite you to the 16th edition of The Blog Rounds, which I am hosting. My chosen theme is "Unsung Heroes", and you may want to read about it here. :)

Manggy said...

Hi Dr. Ness, sorry for the late comment. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Here's my thoughts on your vignettes:
1. I wonder how it must have been for women 30 years ago, when every prominent gynecologist was male!
2. If she was the best and nicest urologist around, I would, especially if it would mean saving my genitals...
3. Haha, I can imagine! I'm pretty sure it happens a lot these days. Although Dr. C*** (a female neurosurgeon I know) doesn't have kids...
4. I wonder if anybody picketed such a discriminatory regulation? It's crazy to discriminate for something that only *could* happen!

ness said...

Oo nga. Di nga ba Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars?! hehe.

Salamat for coming and commenting. This is really a nosebleed topic, di ba. Sensitive issue kasi.

Merrycherry, indeed, SHOULD is definitely not IS. I am thinking, nakakatawa ano. Dati, to have a career was to get out of the house and conquer the world. Today, there are many careers that are home based!

Rose, check ka on both counts - cultural and biological differences. And amazingly men and women today are breaking all stereotypes. There are male obstetricians who are straight and there are males (like Manngy) who won't mind having a female doc examine his genitals as long as she's the best and nicest urologist around!

Manggy, bilib ako sa yo. Close reading ang ginawa mo for all the TBR entries! Labor of love talaga. Speaking of love, I love your food blogs. Hindi ako mahilig sa food (other than to eat the food) but I find your writing about food so personal and charming.

Gigi,
op cors, sali na naman ako sa TBR 16! You know me, laging naghahanap ng excuse to write. :-)