After 4 years of college + 4 years of medical school + 5.5 years of residency, the famous words from a patient: wow, you’re young, is not something I want to hear. I do not normally wear my white coat in clinic. Children get anxious enough seeing my stethoscope or my reflex hammer.
I started wearing my white coat again in clinic once I started my faculty job. Call it ‘wearing my big-girl undies’ or something. I used it to give me the empowering sense that yes, I did complete residency. Yes, I can treat your seizures.
I see it on the parents’ faces. I see it on the grandparents’ eyes. But 95% of them were polite. They do not say it to my face, but maybe to each other once I leave the room.
One morning, I did not feel like wearing my white coat. I forgot to exchange it to a clean one. So I ventured away from my desk, straight to the examination room without my “shield.”
The mother looked up. The first words she said were: wow, you’re young. I said, thank you repeatedly. Then I heard my defensive self say: oh, I get that a lot. People do not believe me that I am old enough to have three children.
So it boils down to that defense. I have three children so I must be old enough to treat yours. I did not say anything about my years of schooling or my place of training. I did not mention the number of hours I logged in per week as an intern or the number of times I had to give bad news.
Asking the parents’ to place their trust in me is a huge thing! I do not take it lightly that I am taking care of their most precious loved one. I do try to “dress the part”. However, no matter how bright red of a lipstick I wear, or if I don my white coat or not, they still see me as “fresh” out of college-face. Thanks to my children, I can boastly say (or at least play the part!). I have training to help your child, and I also have real-life experience as a mother of three under five.
Do you "judge" your doctor by how he/she looks or if he/she wears a white coat? Do you "google" your new doctor and check for his/her place of training, year of graduation?
Linking up with Emma and Jane for medical Mondays.
And with Lindsay, Doranda.
Sarah and Elena .
Cardi ~ j. Crew factory, top ~ banana republic, peplum skirt ~ piperlime, heels ~ Calvin Klein.
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