“Is it More Difficult to Become a Doctor if I’m a Woman?”
We are all familiar with the old stereotype—“men are doctors, women are nurses.” Fortunately, that statement is simply not true today. Women can attend medical school and pursue their dreams, just as easily as a man can. Of course, that doesn’t mean that women won’t face their own unique set of challenges while pursuing a career in medicine. Below are several thoughts for women to keep in mind as they contemplate pursuing medical school:
1) Medical school is incredibly challenging—no matter who you are. Women, pay attention: your gender isn’t the biggest obstacle to becoming a doctor. Medical school is the biggest obstacle in your path! Medical school is challenging for women and men, and many aspiring doctors have realized that it’s simply too much for them. Forget about your gender for a moment and ask yourself if you are truly committed to working and studying harder than you ever have—and if you can sustain that effort for four years. If the answer is yes, go for it!
2) While you may encounter the occasional stereotype from time to time, don’t let it faze you. Whether it is a doctor or a professor, it’s possible you will encounter prejudice at some point in your career. The key is to understand that it doesn’t matter what a few ignorant individuals think of you—what matters is your skill and your ability as a doctor and as a student. Don’t get distracted or discouraged… simply commit to working hard to overcome any obstacles that may arise.
3) A career as a doctor is extremely demanding—for both men and women. Medical school demands plenty of time and energy—but practicing as a doctor can demand even more! Are you willing to make this commitment? This is not a question just for women—it is a question everyone must answer. Are you willing to spend less time with your family and your friends, at least early in your career, than other occupations may allow?
One hundred years ago, it would have been difficult for a woman to become a doctor. Fortunately, in today’s world, medical students and professionals are judged on their ability, not on their gender. If your dream is to become a doctor, commit yourself to a long and difficult journey—and go for it! If you’d like additional advice, please contact me today!
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“Dr. Toote, I really appreciated your presence here at UTA today. You have encouraged me. Thank you very much.” Jennifer A.