(AGA Blogger)
Mon Mar 09 2009 05:36 PM
Re: Essay....

Hmm... I guess my brain goes straight to one of the boring, automatic answers: reproduction. I mean, that is the aspect of people's health where you are most often going to meet gender issues head on. Nursing is also one of the fields that has been most heavily gender stereotyped; people still go into convulsions sometimes when they see a male nurse. There is a tendency--sadly--to see male nurses as "losers" who just didn't go for their M.D.s, while female nurses are exactly where they're supposed to be, because women can't be full-fledged doctors. I know that seems too archaic--too much of a classic--to still be a widespread issue, but you know the whole riddle about the doctor who sees their son in the operating room.

/A father and son are in a car accident and are rushed to the hospital together. The son is rushed into a separate OR and the doctor, upon seeing the boy's face, exclaims, "I can't operate on him! He's my son!" How is this possible?/

You'd be amazed how many people still have to stop and think--and that's because there's a pretty deeply ingrained masculinity to that form of healing. Women have their own "healer" stereotypes: we're the ones who can make magic soups, cure belly-aches, deliver babies, and massage. Men do surgery, set bones, stitch cuts, and deal in powerful drugs. (Think "wise old mothers" versus "medicine men".)

So, maybe something about those traditions and perspectives, and how that affects patient-HCP relationships even today? Just tossing stuff out there.

(PS: So exciting that you're doing this!)

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