Posts 2022-11-11


Disclaimer: this doesn’t represent anyone in my program and is a commentary on culture, don’t @ me.

When we talk about a culture being “unwelcoming” to certain groups of ppl, it’s hard to explain why. Cardiology is male dominated (see my post on #womenincardiology #wic from 3/17/22). I was very unhappy in my 1st year of fellowship. This year has been better for a myriad of reasons, chief of them being 1) the 1st year class is 50% women, one of whom is my bestie, 2) my PD graciously moved some of my rotations to my 3rd year of fellowship to make the workload more feasible given my 15232470 careers & 3) my knowledge base is strong enough that I am no longer cowed by situations like the one in comic.

Do I think my colleagues are deliberately minimizing my contributions or not listening when I offer thoughts? No. Do I think that, in a male-dominated culture in which being loud and wrong is more valued than being right but open to discussion, they might not notice when they’re doing so? Yes. The other day, one of the new female fellows witnessed me in an interaction not unlike the one in this comic. After the room had cleared, she asked me how I could stand it, and just the fact that she had recognized what had just occurred, that I had someone to confirm that it wasn’t in my head, was a breath of fresh air.

The truth is, I’m used to it now. But I don’t think it doesn’t affect me. I’m not as “warm” as I once was, & am significantly less tolerant of perceived disrespect. I probably question myself more (bc how am I right if I’m not as certain in the answer?) Before going into cardiology, I used to lament the lack of “relatable” female mentors. The stereotype for women in cardiology seemed to be “intense,” meaning cold, harsh, & sensitive to questioning of their judgment. Now, I reflect on how so much of those traits may be defense mechanisms developed over a career of having their judgments ?ed, their gender-specific needs neglected, & their contributions diminished… but that’s just me though.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.