As a surgeon, you’ve worked long and hard to get where you are today. The fact that you’re a woman and a member of a minority group doesn’t have any impact on your ability to provide quality care.
Unfortunately, you still face unfair discrimination from patients who are either racially prejudiced or don’t believe that a female surgeon is as good as her male colleagues.
Could your boss harbor those same discriminatory sentiments?
Surgeons don’t just face discrimination from their patients, however. Sometimes, that discrimination happens in the hospital administration as well. For example, if you are working in a hospital and seek a position as the department head or academic professor, you could find that you have been passed up by a male colleague.
Data from at least one study in 2017 showed that around half of all medical students are women, yet only 9.2% of women rose to be chairs of their departments, 14.7% to full professorships and 9.3% to deans. In that same study, in combination with two medical/surgical series, it was determined that it would take until either 2096 or 2136 for females to make up 50% of all professorships in medical institutions.
Identifying discrimination can be difficult, but it’s important to address it
You deserve to be treated fairly no matter who you are. If you’ve noticed that you’re being treated differently due to your gender or race, it’s time to speak up to the administration. Similarly, if you’re passed over for a promotion that gets handed to someone with lesser qualifications and you believe discrimination played a role, it may be time to seek legal advice.