The Feminine Touch by Pat Conrad MD

Maybe it’s just a slow news month over at Medical Economics, or maybe getting ad revenues is (still) getting tougher for them.  Their piece “More women than ever flocking to med school” comes off as more of the patronizing sweetness I thought we were all supposed to be getting away from.  Alison Whelan, MD, chief medical education officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges, says that “a workplace that reflects a 50-50 balance is reasonable, so we should continue the effort to maintain this balance, and make sure it’s not just a onetime blip and then goes back down again.”  Against which I wonder, “Who cares?”

Whelan notes that along with more female-Americans, there have been more black and Hispanic applicants, and that “increasing diversity has been a long-time goal.”  To which I respond, “Who cares?”

I’ve listened to the diversity merchants since day one of med school orientation over a quarter-century ago, and I see the point even less now than I did then.  In dire days for physicians when we should all seek ways to come together to fight common enemies like MACRA and the AAFP, we get self-interested academicians contriving differences and relative values between the genders as evidenced by idiotic statements like:  “One reason women are welcoming the narrowing of the gender divide in medical school is because the more women who participate in educational and training programs, the more attentive they become to the wellness of trainees. Things like acceptance of alternate career paths in medicine, time out for family care, structured mentoring, and addressing the gender differences that impact the daily work experiences of women in medicine are just some of the ways more women in the field are improving it.”  So the dumb ‘ol men can just slog along, continuing to go to work dragging their knuckles until the ladies show us how we should have been doing health care all along?

And while I view my female colleagues with no more or less respect than the men, I still don’t want them getting their hands on the TV remote.

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