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
Page 12

Text from page 12:

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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

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