I know you are worried I do not fulfil
Your criteria- I can see I do not instil
Confidence in you that I am capable
Of taking excellent care of you, that I am able
To diagnose and treat your condition-
You might not have chosen me of your volition
But you were forced to make a compromise
Between timely referral and me, I surmise…
Probably I am the wrong gender and size
The wrong accent, wrong physical attributes, I realize
I hardly resemble the image you have in mind
Of a distinguished middle-aged male with eyes kind
And a soft-spoken manner; with which he can claim
Your complete trust and respect- I do not blame
You for feeling that way- that is the stereotype
Perpetuated by media- yet there is no one prototype
Of a good physician; we happen to be as diverse
As the rest of the denizens of this universe.
So here I am, my petite frame stretched in attention
To your complaints, concerns, apprehensions
I know you are gravely ill, and in distress
Your condition is one I am equipped to address
I might have an accent but know what I tell you
Is based on up-to-date knowledge, backed by experience too
Because I know you do not intrinsically trust me
Know that I shall be as thorough as a physician can be
Your preconceived notions challenge me to do my best
I know that on a perfect image I cannot rest
Let me tell you- since I do not conform to a stereotype
I’ve had to work harder to earn my stripes
I hope you look past my physical attributes and see
That you shall be treated as well as you deserve to be.
6 thoughts on “Hello, I am your doctor..”
Isn’t that a shame–people’s preconceived notions of what a doctor should look like in order to treat them.
If you look for the image of a doctor on google images, you get a certain prototype. However I am happy to report that this issue is getting a fair amount of attention these days. Our professional organization last year had a male doctor of color on its website (probably a majority); this year it was a female doctor of color (females are underrepresented in my specialty).
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I had to stop and think. Of all the docs I go to, my only female doctor is my internal medicine doctor. My husband goes to her, too. All the rest are males.
All my docs are male too- now I am going to get a female doctor
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Hmm …and you prove your patients notion wrong with your knowledge and expertise. You always took the road less taken to fullfil your dreams. My best wishes for you always.
Thank you- but stereotypes are still hard to break. And almost everyone has more confidence in older doctors.