the extra X chromosome

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by abu barney, Jul 28, 2001.

  1. abu barney

    abu barney resident revolutionary

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    Please people key me in. Is it just a Jordanian phenomenon, or is it that females, in a nutshell, are treated better, given more attention, and receive higher evaluation than their poor colleagues who are cursed with the XY chromosome combo.

    At first I'm tell myself not to take anything away from my female colleauges' accomplishments, but more and more it shouts in my face. I've noticed that they (the girls) get more eye contact when the professor is explaining something. They can make they same mistake their male colleague might, but her mistake will be kindly corrected while the male will be harshly berated.

    I dunno, it just been buggin the heck out of me, and it's more prominent with certain professors and in certain specialties than others.
     
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Hmmm....its been my observation, that in some specialties, women are treated worse than their male counterparts.
     
  4. abu barney

    abu barney resident revolutionary

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    It might be due to geographical/cultural differences. Both ways it's pretty annoying I must say. It just seems like the women get the better treatment here.
     
  5. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire

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    In the past, in the US, the opposite was true. Women had to be BETTER than men, just to get equal treatment. Although I'm sure that sexism still exists (especially in certain specialties) I have NEVER been treated any better or worse than the guys. Maybe in your situation it is a cultural thing. Have you talked to any of the other men? Do they get the same treatment? If not then there is another possibility. I know this sounds harsh, and no offense, but it's been my experience that in most situations, people reap what they sow. Are you sure you're not doing anything to cause this problem?
     
  6. abu barney

    abu barney resident revolutionary

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    Thank you for the metaphoric slap in the face :p

    I honestly don't think it's because of the reason you stated. I do good in school. I don't fear for my manhood if a woman does better than me. I could care less. There are many of my female colleagues here, dumb as rocks (just like many of the guys), but get by by acting all cute and perty. And unfortunately it's sometimes welcomed with many of my professors. Quite despicable behavior on both parties behalf.

    Nothing against you females in general, I was just inquiring if this phenomenon is seen in other places, which doesn't seem to be the case...

    I wish you all the best against any sexism you might encounter in your careers.
     
  7. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    So far, I haven't noticed any specialty where I've felt that I've been treated better than my male colleagues. There have also been a couple of rotations that I've done where I've been treated worse and have had to work harder to get the same attention/positive feedback as the male students. (Some other female students and residents that I know have noticed the same thing in certain specialties) Just my own observation ...
     
  8. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    Well, first off if you are being treated BETTER than the other sex, you are very unlikely to notice it until its so bad that it cant be ignored. Most people dont recognize the subtle things going on in their favor, but EVERYBODY notices the subtle things going to their disadvantage.

    Abu, some of what you say rings true as a male, but I dont think its really that bad like you say. And there are some areas (i.e. surgery) where I would imagine women are treated worse.

    As for premed, I think in some subtle ways women are favored. Take healthcare experience for example, specifically positions like nurses, nurse techs, and CNAs. Society attaches a severe social stigma for males associated with these jobs, but females are perceived in a very different, positive light. Males are perceived favorably in procedural fields like EMT, but women have the advantage that they are perceived just as favorably as men in these areas. In a sense, for healthcare experience, women have somewhat of an advantage in taking part in diverse fields without being exposed to the same social stigmas.

    Of course, in the past women were severely discriminated against. And to some extent, that still exists today. But I honestly think women are far better off today than minorities in the medical profession.
     
  9. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    Let me add one more example of a slight pro-feminine bias in todays medical world.

    Take OB/GYN and Urology. Males in the OB/GYN field have a slight disadvantage because there are significant percentage of women who dont want male docs.

    Urology has a largely male patient population, with a few women sprinkled in. You would expect that women would be at a slight disadvantage as a doctor here, but they are not.

    So, women have a slight advantage over men in this case because they are encouraged to go into EITHER field, regardless of hte patient demographic, whereas men are slightly biased against going into ob/gyn.
     
  10. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed
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    You argument doesn't make sense. If there was no disadvantage to women in urology, there would be more women in urology. And, there are still plenty of men going into ob/gyn.
     
  11. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member

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    As per my recent experience in Urology, there are big advantages and disadvantages both because of gender. A female urologist can practice just about anywhere and have plenty of patients, and do very well for herself. She can also likely find a practice that respects her and has great comraderie. However, it is still VERY much an old boy's club, and the patients remain mostly guys who like seeing male docs. But there is a definite niche in the market for women, and those who can brave residency (where the old boy's club flourishes in all its glory in a lot of places), she's set once she's in practice.

    A main reason for female success in OB/GYN is again patient preference. While older generations are used to male docs for just about everything, and little patient choice, gen-xers and under are used to being able to make choice based on preference, and tend to prefer female docs for this kind of care. Hard for a guy, no matter how great a doc, to get the same sort of patient nod of approval from the younger set, except in HMOs and practices that have a night pool for on-call deliveries (i.e., it may not be "your doc" who delivers you, but whomever is on call -- who might well be a guy).
     
  12. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member

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    Men apply to OB-GYN but it seems like female residents dominate the scene. A lot of the younger attendings are all female too. Males are a dying breed in that field. I've noticed that there are a lot of "cocky" female OB-GYN's out there.

    I've noticed that females get better treatment overall...yeah, some fields they might be treated badly but this is a minority. Not everyone is required to do Urology while OB-GYN is mandatory. Single male residents usually treat "good looking" female students a lot better. What male in any job wouldn't? Female med students remind most doctors of their own daughters. People also think men are tough and should be able to take verbal abuse. I always here girls whine and complain about male attendings "inappropriate" comments. Do you ever hear the guys complain? Of course not. What's that saying, "Take it like a man" Male doctors know they can overwork and yell at guys but with girls its a touchier group due to girls loving the "harassment" label and we as males have always been told to "treat the female like a lady" Girls will deny all this but of course they will...because if they realized this it would just be another reason for them to be seen as weaker and that what they get in life will be scrutinized as to whether they deserved it or not. Why did med school admissions increase for females? Why are most schools trying to balance out to 50/50? A pretty face goes a long way in this society. This is not to say that you can't have brains either but image is everything and men have raging hormones. The only drawback I've noticed for women is that female nurses usually treat us males nicer then the girls. Which isn't much considering they treat all med students like crap. One day I will have my revenge on those fricken nurses.
     
  13. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    It sounds like you think that women are itching to complain about anything they can, and that you think that they complain about comments by attendings that you don't see anything wrong with. Whether you like it or not, there are many physicians out there who still see medicine as an "old boy's club" and while they might support women in medicine, they don't consider women to be "full-fledged members". It's definitely a minority of physicians, and they are more prevalent in some fields than others, but they do have a bigger effect than you realize on how women are viewed in the field.

    Let me tell you a little story about how it's actually not an advantage to remind a physician of his daughter. When I was a preclinical medical student, I did research in a surgical subspecialty lab. At the end of the year, the department held an annual dinner for the fellows and faculty to which I was invited (and where I was the only woman there who was not a wife or a nurse). That evening, the surgeon that I was working with introduced me to the chair of the department -- during the introduction, he explained the research I was doing and where I was in med school, and basically was very professional and formal. Then, instead of asking some questions about my work or some other professional comment that someone usually makes when having been introduced to someone in that way, the department chair stared at the necklace that I was wearing and told me "That's a beautiful necklace. My daughter has almost the same one." I realized that he actually hadn't been listening to a word my attending had been telling him about me, and was just staring at my necklace the whole time! (and before you even start -- it was a very simple piece of jewelry, not one that would normally draw someone's attention). If I had been a male student, the conversation would have gone very differently and he would have actually taken notice of my work and not of how I looked.

    That's true to some extent. But it sounds like you aren't treating nurses very well based on the comments you make. I've found that how a nurse treats you is more dependent on how you treat the nurse. If you treat a nurse with respect and value his/her opinion or advice, she/he will also treat you well.

    Basically, while women may sometimes get preferential treatment, it is often made very clear to them that they are getting this treatment because of their gender. This is not the kind of treatment most women (or at least me personally) in the field want -- because it creates an attitude that women are second-class physicians, and need the nicer treatment because they are weaker. That attitude does plenty of damage on it's own.

    One of the (many) reasons I have chosen to go into a subspecialty of IM is because there are much fewer people with that kind of attitude, and I actually feel that I am valued in that field based on my work and intellectual contribution rather than based on my gender. And the fact that I am female is not something that is constantly brought up the way it is in certain other specialties.

    I do think in most specialties in medicine women are not at a disadvantage, but there are certain specialties where they are practically outright proud of the fact that they discriminate against women.
     
  14. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member

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    Maybe that physician who commented on your necklace was trying to talk about something other than "business." Don't you think some people get sick and tired of always talking about medicine. Wouldn't you like to go to a function where you can just talk about things outside of medicine? If I were at a dinner "which is a social function mind you even though it was to celebrate work" I would like to kick back and just hang out and not have everyone introduce themselves as "med student, or research assistant, or I'm applying to medicine, or meet this person who you'll likely forget in the morning" It would be more appropriate to meet someone for "academic" reasons outside "social" events.

    Anyways, nurses are overworked, underpaid, and definitely have a chip over their shoulder. That translates to being viewed as "mean, inconsiderate, and condescending" by med students. I agree with you in that treating nurses with respect and courtesy results in them treating you well but maybe they should look at it that way also. Sometimes its nice to just be treated respectfully from the beginning then having to "prove" yourself worthy. I like it when they don't believe 4 years of undergrad, grueling standardized exams, and 4 years of med school give us a little credit while they themselves get a bachelor's in nursing. They know a lot and I give them credit for their "experience" but that's just plain disrespect for them to tell me on the first day to "be nice to them" and I can "learn a lot from them" without even knowing how I act or will behave on their floor. Whatever....mean people are mean people.

    Back to the female thing...If I had connections or ways to climb the ladder easier than other people, I'd take the chance right away. You're saying its a bad thing? Being female and having it easier at times is not good? Give me a break. You do what you have to do and if you're happy with the outcome then great. Why would you have to prove anything to anyone? As long as you can do the job who cares. Would I like to be a female? Hell no. I grew up old fashioned style and I'm Asian so you girls are second best to me. That's just my opinion and yes, each individual is different and there are exceptions. I've met some female residents in OB/GYN who are outstanding in the OR. Too bad the male residents I've seen are phenomenal.

    Anyways, good doctors are good, bad doctors are bad. Everyone no matter what race, religion, physical appearance,or gender has to endure certain generalizations/stereotypes and if some help you and some don't, oh well...that's life. But I don't like it when people try to play it down.
     
  15. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Wow, you're pretty bitter, doughboy. I know I won't be able to change someone's mind who already thinks that us "girls are second best" anyway and who probably will not listen to anyone who says otherwise, but I just want clarify a couple of things that you may have misunderstood.

    Yes, in a regular social situation that *might* have been considered a benign change of conversation (although most people I know do not go that far off topic), but this wasn't a typical social gathering. This was a dinner to discuss medicine, the department, and the work that people have been doing in the department. In addition, there were a couple of male surgery residents who were there for the conversation and commented to me later (without me prompting or saying anything to them) how inappropriate they felt the chair had acted. So I know it wasn't just me. And again, if the attending would have done the same introduction for a student who was male the chair would not have commented on how handsome the student looked tonight, or what great shoes he was wearing -- the chair would have asked a couple of questions about his work, and would have paid attention to what he had done, not how he looked.

    Perhaps you misunderstood my comments. When I said that once in a while a woman might get preferential treatment in certain fields, I did not mean in admissions or promotions. That's a completely different ball game, and one where it's often harder for a woman to play in certain fields.

    I meant that once in a very great while a female might get treated a little bit better (as far as daily life), but it's not a good thing, because often times it's accompanied by a sexist remark, or it's made very clear that she is getting such treatment because she's a woman. For example, a female student on a surgery rotation gets to go home early one night. The reason? Because the senior resident tells her that she "needs her beauty sleep". Personally, I'd rather stay late than get told that.

    And oftentimes this "preferential treatment" is not because women get more respect -- it's actually the opposite. The very few people who do this are often the same people who do not consider women to be "full-fledged physicians" -- they might give women this treatment because they don't think the woman can handle their work otherwise, or they think women are too sensitive, or who knows for what other reason. So during those very few instances of preferential treatment, it most certainly does not help one's career.

    So, no, I don't consider it an advantage to get treated in that way. Again, that's why I'm going into a field that does not put so much daily emphasis on someone's gender, and values people for what they accomplish instead.
     
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  17. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member

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    I don't know, when there's a ****load of work to be done, no one is going to be going home regardless of "beauty sleep." Anyways, I guess the best thing to do for anyone is to just take what you get, do the best with it, and hope its enough. In the end, if you're good you're good. If you have to prove it, so be it, everyone has to one day. Maybe I do have a rotten opinion but don't worry, I don't hold it against anyone. I just grin and bear it like everyone should.
     
  18. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    Men are still at a disadvantage in OB/GYN whereas there is no distinct disadvantage for women in Urology.

    Also, I dont buy your notion that just because that there are more men than women in certain areas, that there is some secret white male committee running things behind the scenes, pushing buttons to make sure women cant get ahead. Thats just not reality.

    Perhaps women dont like to go into urology as much as they do other fields? Isnt that possible? Why does a discrepancy between male and female doctors in a certain specialty ALWAYS mean that there must be discrimination going on?

    Just because women are not as numerable as men in urology does NOT mean that there is blatant discrimination and pressure to keep them out or discourage them from becoming urologists.
     
  19. mj

    mj Senior Member

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    Sounds like doughboy isn't the only one who is a little bitter, ajm. While I can empathize with your frustration, I think it is a little na?ve to think that females don't get treated differently than males when dealing with another male. It's the nature of the human beast we all are -- just like most of us act differently when dealing with males than when dealing with females.

    To weather or not it's a bad thing…if someone wants to give me an extra hour sleep because he thinks I'm a woosie girl, bring me my pillow, because no matter if I take the hour or not, I'll never change his mind that I'm a woosie. That extra hour of sleep, however, can make a difference where it really counts. I don't believe the equality battle will be won there.

    So what if doughboy thinks there are boys out there better than us girls? At least he's honest about it so that you know where you stand. I don't think he is stupid enough to believe that all boys are better than any girl. Enough women run with the pack these days to keep the doughboy's of the world guessing, the lines between the sexes graying. And doughboy may be right -- that at the front of the line, where there isn't anybody any better than the person standing there, it might be a guy on top. Who the hell really cares? If it is a male, he's probably too busy bragging about how good he is to be of any use anyway. The girl behind him in line is probably doing all the work ;)

    I fight when I think I can win; it's rarely the big battles that count but usually all the small ones that add up to an eventual gain. The only one you have to prove anything to is the person half-naked on the table in the exam room and the one you share that pillow with. If you are looking for some big prize other than that, I think you will probably be very disappointed.

    mj
     
  20. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    So I'm afraid I must have come off the wrong way in my earlier posts. In trying to respond to some comments made in an earlier post, I probably ended up sounding like some angry feminist man-hater (no offense to all the feminist man-haters out there!) ;) Actually, I was originally just trying to respond to some earlier comments stating that women get treated better/differently, and that that is always an advantage, but I guess I got sidetracked...

    The examples I used were just personal experiences -- one that happened to myself, and one that I witnessed, but both making the subjects of the stories feel like crap. I'm actually not *that* frustrated, because as I said before, the people who do have the idea of medicine as an old boy's club is a minority, and I have learned to stay away from those specialties that contain a greater proportion of them.

    Also, I'm not trying to say that men and women are treated the same. In fact, I do think that they are treated differently, but not usually to the extent where one has the advantage over another, again except in certain specialties.

    For me, this is not about trying to change people's minds, or even fighting battles -- it's about wanting a supportive work environment. And I'm working on what's under my control to get that.

    Peace. :cool:
     
  21. together

    together Senior Member

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    By nature, men compete for access to female's eggs because while men spend (approximately) 2 minutes of their time "investing" in a sexual relation, women are stuck with the burden of investment for a good part of their lives. This is why women are treated more fairly in most social situations. Men: note how your behavior changes next time you're with a woman.

    Men are polygynous apes, what more can I say?

    Physicians as well as students of medicine should be more informed about evolutionary medicine. For those who are interested, read Nesse & Williams' (1995) "Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine" for more information (they provide references to take you deeper into the literature). That book will open up your eyes. It's seriously a breath of fresh air.

    Here's a link to more information:
    http://www.people.virginia.edu/~rjh9u/darwmed.html

    Cheers,

    Together
     
  22. star23

    star23 Senior Member

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    doughboy "Maybe I do have a rotten opinion but don't worry, I don't hold it against anyone. "

    All evidence to the contrary.
     
  23. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member

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    Meaning, I'm not going to go out of my way to do anything about it. I have my thoughts and I express them on these forums but if you saw me in the hospital you wouldn't know the difference. Yeah, I think women have it "easier" but I also think guys with "connections" suck too and there is some "chauvinism" and "racism" in the hospital but what are you going to do? I don't do ****. Like I said before, grin and bear it, because if I had anything I could work to my advantage I would....that's the way the game is played. It just took me some time to realize that.
     
  24. Hannibal Gabriel

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    All the nurses I've had experience with have treated me pretty well. If you smile a little bit, say good morning to them, listen to what they say instead of just bitching because they haven't done your orders you wrote twenty minutes ago...you might be surprised just how far a little courtesy can go. Of course, I have yet to meet the battle-axes that I'm sure are out there, but treating people like people and not job-performing-machines is never a bad habit for anyone.
     

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