As I left the operating room to find the family and let them know all was well, I thought about that question: "How can I best help you now?" And I realized that it's a question that can be used any time we see a fellow human floundering. They can be hurting from a crisis or just wondering what to next.
I am mistaken for a nurse almost every single day at work. While it is a compliment to be mistaken for a nurse (they are truly amazing and do things I never could do), the men I work with are never thought to be nurses. If they look young, they are usually mistaken for medical students... training to become doctors.
I am a woman in a man's profession, and it's certainly time that the prevalence of societal sex-stereotyping is publicly addressed. We begrudgingly accept this level of misogyny and anti-family sentiment when it's subtle, constitutive and mixed with praise for being tough. After all, this is surgery. And surgeons are tough.
What many may not realize is that #ILookLikeASurgeon goes well beyond gender stereotypes. It is not just about women. It is about challenging the stereotype of what a surgeon should look like. Historically white men dominated medicine, especially surgery, and this is what many visualize when they hear the word "surgeon."