Women in healthcare

I think many women have problems getting into any type of job, but I think it’s harder for women to get a job in healthcare since there’s a lot of opinions. I interviewed Dr. Lorrie Langdale at the VA Hospital. She is a general surgeon and she operates on patients with problems in their gallbladders, appendix, colon, pancreas, and any gastrointestinal cancers.

Do you think it is harder for female physicians to get a job compared to a male physicians?:

Dr. Lorrie Langdale: “I think things have changed over time, and now is it easier for female physicians to get a job… no. In fact there are a lot of patients who prefer to have a female physician” “…..It’s very different now then it was many years ago, as an example if the job that your applying for was residency training….. When I was going through it was much harder for women in surgery cause there was a general view that women didn’t belong there.”

I thought this was very interesting because now it might seem worse but it was even more worse back then.

Do you feel there is a gender bias towards female physicians compared to male physicians?:

Dr. Lorrie Langdale: “ It depends on whos got the bias. There are some patients who don’t want to see a woman and some patients who don’t want to see a man……are they being evaluated for their clinical skills in terms of managing patients or making diagnosis?There are some data that states that female patients are better off with a female physician……”

This is also very interesting too because I feel like a woman would help a woman better and a man would help a man better in health.

Have you ever been belittled at work because of your gender?:

Dr. Lorrie Langdale: “Me, no, have I witnessed other people yes. Truthfully I think women today are in some ways more sensitive to or have a different expectation then when I was going through training, and so it kind of depends on what color glasses you are wearing in certain situations. Whether you interpret what’s around you to being belittled and whether you attach that to your gender, and I think it’s harder on women today in some ways because they’ve been brought up under this notion that they’re equal, and therefore they don’t understand when someone doesn’t treat them equally…..but their expectations are different. So when I was your age my expectations were to ignore people.”

I agree with this because when you’re doing something and somebody puts you down you take it the hard way instead of ignoring it, and not letting it affect you.

As a female physician, have you had to battle gender bias from patients and your male colleagues?:

Dr. Lorrie Langdale: “From patients when I was younger, and because I was the only female surgeon around; everyone else was male. It was less about being female than being young, and they wanted the old guy with the grey hair who they interpreted as being experienced as opposed to the little girl surgeon over here who clearly wasn’t as experienced….. Now nobody cares about the gender part. They care about the grey hair part.”

This was really cool to hear because my mom stated that in 2018 lots of people (mostly women) assumed that there was a lot of bias wherever they were going to work but I realized that the patients want someone older and wiser.

I feel like Dr Lorrie Langdale helped me understand what actually goes on in the healthcare system with women. I feel like many women care too much about what other people think, and when we work and men tell us some bad things it’s easier to just ignore it instead of letting it get to you. Also if you go into the healthcare system you have to be prepared to work your way up in the system instead of assuming that your just going to get the job you want.

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