Here’s to Women in White Coats!
They are not fond of being called “honey” or “sweetie,” being called by their first name, instead of doctor, being mistaken as the nurse, being called a “provider,” or told they are too pretty to be a doctor.
You can give them an ill-fitting white coat made for a man, try to pay them less than male doctors for the same work, or try to keep them from rising to leadership positions.
But the one thing you cannot do is ignore them because they perform brain and heart surgery, deliver babies, resuscitate patients from the brink of death, work tirelessly at their own peril on the front lines of a global pandemic while wearing suffocating PPE for 12 hours straight, fight the epidemic of mental illness and intubate COVID-19 patients in respiratory distress.
They are there for you in your darkest hour, lifting you up and giving you hope in the middle of the night, on holidays and weekends. They listen with empathy, get to the real root of the problem, give their patients better outcomes, and are phenomenal leaders. And then they go home to the second shift of family responsibilities caring for children, partners, elder parents, neighbors, relatives, and friends and give endless love, often sacrificing their own sleep or self-care.
While some may see them as replaceable “providers,” we see them as the heart and soul of medicine.
Because the women who answered their calling, sacrificing so much to become doctors, and believe that they can truly save and change lives as a Woman in a White Coat, are the ones who do.
Archana Shrestha, MD is a physician, certified life coach, speaker, author, and entrepreneur in Chicago. She is the Cofounder of Women in White Coats, co-author of “The Chronicles of Women in White Coats” book series, and the Chief Wellness Officer at Mighty Mom MD, where she coaches high-achieving women on wellness and weight loss. Learn more about her by going to MightyMomMD.com. She can be followed on Instagram @MightyMomMD