Sticky Fingers & Snotty Faces
My Twitter-friend @MarianneDiNaps has a freakin’ sweet blog (http://blog.timesunion.com/mdtobe) and has gotten me thinking about what to blog on today. I linked her blog so all of my two readers – Mom, Dad – check out Marianne’s blog – could go read what she has to say. What can I say? I like to help a sister out with her blog traffic. So, babies. Aww….I love babies they are so cute. In fact, I might end up being some kind of specialized pediatric doctor when I grow up….probably because I like to make babies cry solely by my presence in a big white coat that is inevitably over-sized. Okay, not really – I like kids because for some reason I can handle a whiny four-year old with much more grace and understanding than a whiny 40 year old. Kids are resilient and….crap this blog is for a different day.
Anyhow, a question I get often in this life is “When are you going to have kids?” Well, hell – how do you answer that? Uhh….someday when I have time. Nope, they’ll tell you that you will never. have. time. After residency. Hm….start trying at 31….what if we want an entire olympic gymnastics team of kids? what if we’re infertile and it takes a long time….? what if this or that? what if? what if? what if? You could basically drive yourself crazy trying to answer this question, because there is truly never a good time to have kids in this profession.
Why is that? Most likely because in the good ole days girls weren’t doctors. That doesn’t totally make sense, though, because in the “good ole days” girls weren’t a lot of things – soldiers, dentists, business people, construction workers, lawyers – and these professions seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of medicine in socially accepting women who choose to have children. Why is it that these professions seem to be so far ahead in their efforts to stop marginalizing women who want families? Why, in medicine, are you only successful if you work 80 hours a week in a difficult specialty and neglect your family and self in the process? Seriously. I had a classmate tell me Pediatricians and Psychiatrists aren’t real doctors.
How do we end this bias against women in medicine? It’s gotten better, sure – a lot better in fact. But there is no denying it’s still there. Women are told “you better not end up pregnant” by their attendings often. I don’t know the answer to it, but I can tell you how I’ve chosen to handle it.
- Choose residency program based on family-friendliness.
- Have kids when I want to, if someone doesn’t agree with it they are welcome to choose not to have a child when I do.
- Choose my family over medicine. Always. Period. No exceptions.
- Run my life on my schedule.
- Stand up for myself and my decisions about my body. Always. Period. No exceptions.