University of Michigan Medical and Nursing School - Aequanimitas Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI)

 - Class of 1969

Page 12 of 272

 

University of Michigan Medical and Nursing School - Aequanimitas Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI) online yearbook collection, 1969 Edition, Page 12 of 272
Page 12 of 272



University of Michigan Medical and Nursing School - Aequanimitas Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI) online yearbook collection, 1969 Edition, Page 11
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University of Michigan Medical and Nursing School - Aequanimitas Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI) online yearbook collection, 1969 Edition, Page 13
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Page 12 text:

Life has many roles for me as it does for my fellow medical students. Together through the past four years we have shared a variety of events and individually we have had an array of unique personal experi- ences. It has been with the objective of becoming physicians that we have been on common ground. And when we receive our degrees, ten percent of us will stand distinct as women physicians. The success with which we perform our roles as women and physicians will deter- mine the quality of our individual lives. We can not and should not try to disassociate the woman from the medical student or physician. It is our responsibility to use any special attributes we may have to bring additional quality to our work and to avoid those traits which contribute nothing. The words female medical student bring rather hxed connotations to the minds of many people. The first class meeting usually serves as a superficial way of reaffirming some of these impressions and breaking down others in the eyes of both the men and women. Then through the years the stereo- typed picture fades away and individual merit becomes the yardstick. I have felt that during the past four years my male col- leagues have treated me on an individual merit basis, and I am particularly grateful to them for doing so. This is not to say that some of the criti- A'-"" PERSO AL cisms voiced about female medical students are not shared by these colleagues. The most frequent and legitimate complaint they raise is whether or not the women physicians will be practicing physicians. On that count I can only be judged in one way-by what I do in the future. Another question I have been asked con- cerns whether female medical students receive any special treatment or have any advantages. The answer is yes. It does not mean that your duties are any less, but it may mean that your first day in the Operat- ing Room you are initially mistaken for a new circulating nurse. The surgeon, after the frustrations of a difficult procedure, will probably acknowledge your presence by apologizing for the curses that flew hot and heavy for awhile. There is also the occa- sional person, both medical and nonmedi- cal, whose subconscious does not quite accept women as doctors, and then it is your task to demonstrate your professional iden- tity. There are times when the empathy you feel for a patient may be more meaningful to the person because you are a woman. It is perhaps in the distribution of time that the female medical student differs most from her colleagues and comtemporaries. Both the short term and long range manage- ment of time are seemingly more involved for her and distribution depends on ones roles, priorities and interests. Life has many aspects and involves being more than just a medical student. The woman in medicine has conflicts and complications with certain responsibilities in her personal life. Iler training period and early years of practice coincide with the time she is most likely to be marrying and raising a family. Her male colleagues are usually doing the same but their responsibilities in the family are much less conflict producing and cause fewer pro- fessional complications. I can honestly say I am busier than most

Page 11 text:

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Page 13 text:

IMPRESSIO S: WOME as MEDICAL STUDENTS women my age and expect this to continue indefinitely. Each day usually brings more than I can realistically expect to accomplish, but that problem I share with just about everyone. It is not possible to see into the future and know the wisest course to follow. You must do considerable thinking and planning, make your decisions and believe you can achieve your goals. It certainly helps to have lots of cooperation and sup- port from those closest to you. Why is it that the percentage of women physicians is low in this country when compared with many other nations? I can make no claims for having done scientific research into this area but I have a few ideas. We begin at an early age to identify people with their jobs. Traditional images impress us with the fact that doctors are men and nurses are women. But given new images some young minds forget the more traditional approach. There are six year old twin girls in our family who basically know only two doctorsgtheir male pediatrician and their cousinm-me. At the moment, one little girl has decided to be a doctor when she grows up, and her sister believes she'l1 be a nurse and help out too. What happens to stop the girls who con- sider but do not actually seek a medical career? Perhaps for some it is the hnancial burden or a lack of true interest and deter- mination. For others it may be an unwill- ingness to delay marriage and family life as required by present training schedules. Todays young women read and hear much about their feminine imageg the image of women doctors in the past has been rather straight and narrow. Prejudice against women in medicine was once a strong fac- tor. Many of these things have changed. Probably the two things which will bring more women into the Held are these: CU the need for more physicians, and QZQ womens changing and expanding ideas of how they wish to fulfill their life's goals. joan Wake Mt '-'ui'

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