香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「女医」という呼び方 /東京

(Mainichi Japan) October 30, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The term 'female doctor,' and what it means now
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「女医」という呼び方 /東京

Lately, when going to convenience stores, I often see books or magazines with titles like, "Lively, beautiful female doctor teaches how to maintain your health."

On the cover, I see a smiling woman who looks more like a movie actress than what you expect a doctor to look like.

I suppose she's the "beautiful female doctor."

Seeing this, I think that times have changed.

When I was young, people sensitive to gender equality considered the term "female doctor" to be sexist.

There was an adult-oriented comic with "female doctor" in the title, where all the women doctors were very sexual, and this helped contribute to people's feelings that the word had such connotations.

In the past, I have gotten overly angry because of calls to the hospital asking if there were any "female doctors," responding with things like, "There are no female doctors here, only doctors!"

One of my female colleagues complained, saying, "If there is the word 'female doctor,' then there ought to be the word 'male doctor,' too.

The fact that there is only a special word for female doctors makes us seem like too much of a special minority and is unequal."

Many years have passed since then, and female doctors are no longer the minority.

I also think that patients no longer care much whether the doctor who sees them is male or female.

Now, precisely because the distinction between male and female doctors has largely disappeared, there is a movement of women purposely drawing attention to their womanhood, identifying themselves as "female doctors" or touting the fact that they once won a Miss such-and-such contest.

That the term "female doctor" has become an expression of one's personality rather than a sexist expression is not a bad thing.

Those women who appear in magazines proclaiming, "I am a beautiful female doctor!" are most likely also working hard while practicing medicine, putting forth their full efforts for their patients.

That said, there could also be problems if this trend goes too far.

For example, there are many regular male doctors who are neither "female" nor "lively."

What will happen to their social status?

Furthermore, if outside appearances and sprightly youth are overly emphasized, then middle-aged, slow moving doctors like me might feel inferior.

There is no problem with "beautiful female doctors," blessed with both looks and ability, working in medicine and helping explain medical problems in an easy-to-understand way to the public.

However, I would like to say that it is not just they who are supporting our medical system.

So while I glance at the covers in the convenience store and marvel at these people's beauty, I will continue my own work, slowly but steadily.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年10月25日 地方版

by kiyoshimat | 2011-11-01 07:25 | 英字新聞

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