Tuesday, 17 September 2019

The pierced, tattooed and conscious human

I often get told I don't "look" like a doctor.
It's a funny thing. What exactly does a doctor look like? Are they white? Male? Wear expensive clothes? Comfy shoes? High heels? 
If I don't look like a doctor, what do I look like? 
I don't think it's ever said maliciously,  but it does make me wonder about what our society values. 
Would you see a doctor who has tattoos? Grey hair? Green hair? 
Would you see a doctor who wears Jeans? 
Would you see a doctor who lacks compassion and has absolutely no knowledge of medicine? 
See? I got ya! 
That's what it comes down to. And realistically,  how does what I wear, the colour of my hair, or my skin convey my intelligence or experience? The truth is that it doesn't all. I think a lot of people do think it does.
We live in a society where most women become invisible if they are overweight, wear plain clothes or have no make up on. I know, because I have lived it. People comment on how pretty I look whenever any of the above change. No one ever says that I look smarter than I did yesterday or that the book I read on the weekend really shows. 
No one cares. Or maybe I am just around the wrong people all the time.
I am becoming increasingly cynical about human beings and their ability to look past appearance and truly see substance. I think this is also why I have chosen to remain single. In fact, it appears that if I insist on not wearing make up I'm already half way there to ensuring I remain that way for the rest of my life. 
If you disagree, then prove me wrong. 
Restore my faith in humans. 
I am a good doctor. I am compassionate, I take my time and I am thorough. And I think part of what makes me a good doctor is the fact that I ensure my humanity shows.  My patients often get to laugh in my consult room, the children get to play, they walk away with badges and smiles on their faces. And this definitely does not change whether I am wearing Jeans or a second hand skirt. Who cares? 
Let's make a world where people don't decide if they want to see me as a doctor because of what I look like. Or sit next to me on the bus, or approach me at a bar. Let's make a world where we measure a person's worth based on substance.  Please. 

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