The idea that medicine is above sexism is false—and destructive

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  1. Joy Dobson, MD, FRCP, CCPE

    Unfortunately too true. We have a long way to go still to complete the work started by the suffragettes!

  2. Flavia Sendi-Mukasa, PGY1

    I wholeheartedly appreciate the acknowledgment of the struggles faced by female physicians of colour. I can’t tell you how many times people are surprised that I’m the doctor, and it’s tiring.

  3. Dan

    I was mistaken for the patient’s porter for transportation… I was wearing a stethoscope and ID badge too.

  4. Helen Roberts

    Sure there’s still sexism and racism in medicine and we need to tackle it, but is there a touch of ‘oh doctors are more important then other people ?’ here. Why is it so worrying to be mistaken for a physio ? or – in the comment below, a porter ? Why is a nurse wrong to think that someone spending a good amount of time talking to a patient might be a doctor friend passing by to say hello than there as a treating physician- friends can be doctors too …. Good for you to keep on keeping on with challenging inequalities, but beware of another kind of inequality. ‘These are the hands’ is a poem Michael Rosen wrote a decade ago celebrating 60 years of the NHS in the UK, It’s a heartwarming reminder of the role that everyone plays – from the midwife to the mortuary attendant. Even better if you google Rosen reading it himself.

  5. Anita

    What a shame. I have a wonderful female vascular surgeon. I trust her with my life. I had a male doctor and he was so arrogant! She even showed up and did my angioplasty procedure. Sorry guys!

  6. Janet Johnson RN

    Thank you for a terrific article.
    I am a middle aged woman with a sensitivity about how I am perceived and treated. I’m also not very tall.
    This article has reminded me to mind my own perceptions, biases and behavior in response to gender, race, culture differences (and height and other conscious or unconscious judgments based on appearance.) Do I treat female physicians differently than males physicians? I will start by checking myself.

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