Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fact of life

I used to mind being called Doktora. Now, I could care less.

The transition happened when I was an intern assisting in a cholecystectomy. My very noble task: retract the liver. After a few minutes into surgery, I was asked to scrubbed out. I couldn't retract well and the surgeon was having a hard time because of me. My male group mate replaced me and he did a great job.

This incident, another few months in training and years at work actually taught me to accept one fact of life. Men and women are different.

Photo from Sweden.Se

Males have testosterone. Females have estrogen. What we do, how strong we are, our emotions are actually ruled by these two powerful hormones. That's why men are generally physically stronger than women. While women, are usually more emotionally equip to deal with different situations.

Dominance. No wonder, surgery was tagged as a male dominated field while pediatrics is women's. Not because women can't get into surgery or men into pediatrics, but because hormones dictates this. Men are naturally more aggressive, more inclined to cut up. Women, on the other hand are more geared towards taking care of the young ones. It's instinct.

What he can do, she can do. Most of times, yes. But sometimes, this is not true. There are things that men can do and women can't. Or things that women can and men can't. Being gender sensitive doesn't mean fooling ourselves and pretending female are a match for sheer male strength. But let's not use these differences to discriminate. These differences were created to complement.

Lucky for those in the field of medicine, these differences don't matter much. There is nothing in this field that a man can do that women can't (well, in my case, except retracting the liver), or vice versa.

Equal opportunity. They say that some specialties in this field don't give equal opportunities to both sexes. But these are talks. I believe that if you can prove your worth and can match up with your contemporaries, regardless of the sex, you will be given the same opportunities.

That's why male patients refusing a female examining physician throws me off. It's primarily because, the female physician was not even given the same opportunity. But this issue deserves another post.

It's habit. Now I don't mind anymore when I am being called Doktora. Because I don't think that I am being discriminated at all when people call me these. Most of the times, it's just habit. But for those who intend to discriminate by adding that extra letter A, go to hell.


This is a contribution to The Blog Rounds, hosted at Dr. Manggy's No Special Effects.


Prudence said...

Hahaha. I like the last line. :-p

I haven't encountered a problem with being called a "doktora". Like what you've said, maybe it was used out of habit.

As for the retraction, it's a noble and a very difficult task to do. Add to that the difficulty of retracting something which you can't see very well because your view is already blocked by the surgeon's hands and body. Hehe.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Yeah Doc Pru, the noble task of retracting. Those were the days. :)

Anonymous said...

so doc, ang ibig sabihin ba nito, speaking of general terms, mas magaling talaga na doktor ang mga lalaki?

Bone MD said...

Argh!!The perks of having to belong in a "male dominated specialty".

Uh, the noble act of retracting? Yah its noble, especially when you already learned the art of sleeping unnoticed while retracting...rather than listen to boring jokes and or gossips...

Hehee, in this blog round edition, I feel my kind is kinda outnumbered and i often got clobbered up in all your post, especially this one doc che...

MerryCherry, MD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MerryCherry, MD said...

Linapuhan, generally speaking? No. Pantay lang. There are some things that male MDs do better then there are things that female MDs do better. Ikaw ha.

Doc Bone, awww, I intended to do the exact opposite of clobbering up your species in this post. I love your kind. Hahaha :) In fact, my intention was to lighten up the millennium-old debate of so called male-female inequality in our field. :)

gigi said...

The noble act of retracting the liver (or the bladder, or the intestines for that matter)? :D Memories.

You spoke wisely when you stated that the differences between male and female are meant to complement. :)

It's my turn to host the blog rounds. You can check it out here. My theme: Unsung Heroes. Hope you could join.

Manggy said...

Yeah, I totally agree. There are just some things that one gender does better than the other-- gender sensitivity doesn't mean gender blindness :) On the other hand, I've not been short on sensitivity and tenderness, either, lol :P (not that kids will respond to a male doctor anyway, no matter how kind-- though I do have luck connecting with girls age 5+, how about that?)

Don't worry about the retracting. In truth it's a struggle for me sometimes, especially when it's slippery and it's a small area to expose and you can't really tell what the surgeon wants!

MerryCherry, MD said...

Hahaha Dr. Manggy, I believe that connecting well with kids, regardless of age, is a gift. Sometimes, I think it doesn't matter if you are a male or female doctor. Because I personally run out of luck with kids, sometimes.

I truly truly admire pediatricians. :)

Anonymous said...

doc ang tagal ng next entry no ah. umalis na ba kayo sa baryo?

MerryCherry, MD said...

I still work in the barrio Linapuhan. But at the moment, I am not physically there. :) Next entry brewing up. :) Before the week ends, it's hopefully posted. ;)

Got meloinks? said...

have to agree with manggy. gender blindness can easily be mistaken for gender sensitivity. gender blindness is the reason for those hilarious abominations called political correctness. at one point, "seminar" was soo sexist daw they had to coin -- "ovarium." ROTFL.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Meloinks, you are one FUNNY fellow. LOL lang ako.