Fifteen minutes before my tutorial today, i was bugging one of my friends for answers to a few of the questions in our assignment. Five minutes into our tutorial, and he was falling asleep. I nudged him awake.
“I don’t know how you can keep awake,” he mumbled.
“Dude, are you crazy? I am terrified of our tutor. She’s scary! How can you fall asleep? Aren’t you afraid that she yells at you??”
“You are afraid of a lot of the obstetricians,” he remarked.
“And you are not?” i countered.
But i have realized that it is true. For some reason, in this specialty or in this hospital i am based at, most of the doctors are females. And of these female doctors, they usually belong to the strong outspoken type. They stare holes into you, grill you mercilessly, and bluntly tell you if you need to re-organize your thoughts.
Our tutor is impatient, straightforward, cutting and abrupt. (That doesn’t mean she’s bad at teaching; it just means we need to KEEP UP OR DIE.) I feel incredibly intimidated, which is kind of strange since i am not usually the type to be petrified.
Maybe it is because Obstetricians tend to have very strong viewpoints. For instance, my consultant found out i would rather undergo a cesarean section rather than a vaginal delivery if i ever find myself in that situation. She exclaimed very loudly (forcing me to shut the door lest we frighten the patients waiting outside), and made me list out the risks of each procedure. Clearly, cesarean sections carry more risks than vaginal deliveries. Then she asked a very leading question – since i have listed out the risks, logically, which one should i choose? I told her that obviously i would be advising patients to undergo vaginal deliveries since they are safer, but i will still choose c-sections (my own reasons, none of which are medically sound). Why?! she hollered. Choice, i replied. She glared at me and did not say a word more. In fact, i felt that i may have caused some significant distress in some way unknown. This was the first time i felt a senior doctor did not respect my opinions, or rather take my perspective a little too personally. I think this can also be called passion for the job. Either way, that incident scared me, and you know, once bitten twice shy; these days i have learnt to give politically correct responses.
And then there came the gender issue. I had a discussion with the same friend. He mentioned that he would prefer female doctors over males anytime because they are nicer to him. I prefer the opposite – male doctors tend to be that bit nicer than the females. So we concluded that it must be a gender thing. That female consultants treat male students better and vice versa. Is that really true?? Anyway, i read to save my skin now. I don’t want to be embarrassed or get caught with a question i can’t answer. I can’t stand it!