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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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “The Feminine Touch by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Sarah Elert MD
    March 28, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    As one of the female doctor Americans, I have noticed that once the field tips to too many women in a dept, it seems the admin support decreases (because surely we can send a simple fax, or do some data entry, right? We are ladies). And along with encouraging part time work comes encouraging a slow track to partnership, prime clinic hours, prime staff, prime vacation slots, etc. And a pay cut.

    I love the comment above about the “Pink Discount” I think that’s why these large “Walmarts” of healthcare want more women. Not because of any love of gender diversity.

  2. Steve O'
    March 25, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    “Wellness advocacy” from the Corporate Office just means they want to cash in on the Pink Discount and lock the Glass Ceiling. None of it’s due to their greed and inhumanity, of course. Its the big hairy unreformed men. Like doctors.

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