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To feel sorry for any woman who has to work with this doctor?

(102 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Tue 23-Oct-12 13:19:17

In a clinic yesterday with the consultant, who is explaining the complex thing that has gone wrong with my kidneys.

Him: I'll just show the scans on the screen. I'm going to talk you through these - you're a very bright girl, you'll be able to understand.

Me: ....!

Him: That's not meant to be patronising, but I think you're bright enough to understand this.

Me: <speechless, torn between laughter and tears>

I mean really, I actually thought it was rather funny in an awful way, but htf does someone like this function in an environment where they must have to deal with women colleagues? Is this just him or is this some kind of bizarre sexist hierarchy which only operates in hospitals?

Ullena Tue 23-Oct-12 13:39:33

Maybe he says similar things to men too? Bright chap, and so forth? He did say he wasn't trying to patronise you after all.

squeakytoy Tue 23-Oct-12 13:41:13

he is a consultant in medicine, not a PR man... so long as he sorts out patients health, that is the most important thing..

TwinkleReturns Tue 23-Oct-12 13:45:42

ahh consultants! When I was in hospital the other week the consultant brought 20 students with him and ignored me for the first ten mins, showing his students how one examines the stomach of a pregnant woman. He eventually noticed my clenched jaw and stifled cries of pain and remembered that Id been admitted with suspected appendicitus and made a "jokey" apology about how much pain I must be in. The nurse practically expoloded rage once he'd left!!

Scholes34 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:47:35

Shame the nurse didn't explode into a rage whilst he was still there.

Scholes34 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:48:30

The other side of this is when a consultant talks to you like you're a colleague, with all the technical jargon and you have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

Paiviaso Tue 23-Oct-12 13:52:30

What makes you think he said it because you are a woman? I didn't read it that way if that is all he said. He might have been judging your intelligence on some other trait (for example, you might be well-spoken, or he knows you are highly educated, etc?) and decided he could go into a more detailed description of your problem then he might with another lay person?

RevoltingPeasant Tue 23-Oct-12 13:55:27

Because he called me a 'very bright girl' - that's why I thought it was gender related. (I'm 33 and married, not like I'm 17 or something.)

It was just the attitude, that's all..... It made me think how tough it must be to be one of the many up-and-coming young female doctors, having to deal with someone who thinks referring to women that way in professional situations is appropriate! I mean, if that's his 'customer-facing' face.... eek!

expatinscotland Tue 23-Oct-12 14:00:40

Twinkle, I would have said something as the patient!

Anytime I was referred to as 'Mum' by those treating my child I would state plainly, 'My apologies for not having the opportunity to properly introduce myself, my name is Mrs Expat. It's a pleasure to meet you' and look directly at them.

libelulle Tue 23-Oct-12 14:01:19

Ah but if he's a man in his 50s or older he may have trouble distinguishing between a woman who is 33 or 22!

Chances are, though, he was in fact a sexist, patronising git - he wouldn't be the first such consultant grin

expatinscotland Tue 23-Oct-12 14:01:50

On the other hand, I was once walking down the hall with a consultant/professor and her colleague of many years, and the father of one of the other patients walked by and said, 'Hi, girls!'

We're in our 40s and 60s.

TwinkleReturns Tue 23-Oct-12 14:34:04

expat If i hadnt been carted in semi-consious and very dehydrated I might have felt a bit more together and would have yelled "ouch!!!". I just sort of lay there all dazed and in agony while he prodded and poked about. Wasn't much fun.

Bloody man also insisted I was nil by mouth for 36hrs and by the time I was allowed food again it took 24hours of anti-emetics to enable my body to cope with food again without chucking it back out.angry

ClippedPhoenix Tue 23-Oct-12 14:35:53

blimey, political correctness gone mad grin Get over yourself.

Nubbler Tue 23-Oct-12 14:41:20

I used to work for a patients' charity and heard similar tales when doing patient satisfaction surveys. More than one said they also stuck a copy of the Times under their arm and put on a posh accent during hosp appts so that the consultant took them seriously and actually explained what the problem was. Be grateful he did that at least. Git.

Lottapianos Tue 23-Oct-12 14:44:59

'I'm going to talk you through these - you're a very bright girl, you'll be able to understand.'

A very bright girl? Yuck! Inappropriate if you're older than 16 IMO. I would have been hacked off by this too OP.

cumfy Tue 23-Oct-12 14:57:15

Are you suggesting that female medical colleagues of this man will find that the most challenging aspect of their job is dealing with his behaviour ?

Also it seems ageist not sexist as such.

<runs for cover>

damibasiamille Tue 23-Oct-12 14:59:55

Of course he wouldn't have said similar things to a man! "You seem like a clever boy" to a 33-year-old man? He'd have got punched!

But thanks, Nubbler - copy of The Times - I'll have to try that one, - open at the crossword maybe....

worldgonecrazy Tue 23-Oct-12 15:03:35


But, for future reference, you are allowed to talk to consultants as if you and they are equals. Just because a lot of nurses and junior staff act like the consultants are demi-gods, doesn't mean patients have to be suckered into subservience.

Ullena Tue 23-Oct-12 15:03:36

Chap, not boy. Totally different!

Ullena Tue 23-Oct-12 15:04:55

Although my GP uses the gender/age/species neutral term of "clever sort"...

Viviennemary Tue 23-Oct-12 15:12:24

You probably are a girl to him. My auntie who is 89 calls me a girl and I am quite a lot older than you. Good consultants don't always have a great bedside manner. I'd just shrug it off if you are getting good treatment.

Lottapianos Tue 23-Oct-12 15:23:39

'Good consultants don't always have a great bedside manner. I'd just shrug it off if you are getting good treatment'

You have a right to expect good treatment and a good 'bedside manner' which is really just being polite and sensitive and thoughtful. Not patronising the patients is part of 'good treatment' - I'm saying this as an NHS professional myself.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 23-Oct-12 15:29:23

Some people almost see being offended by the slightest thing a full time job these days grin

doctordwt Tue 23-Oct-12 15:34:51

He might have just as easily referred to a bloke under 40 as 'my lad'

But I would probably have NOT refrained from laughing and replied something along the lines of 'No problem chickie, you start off and I'll stop you if I need clarification'

NightFallsFast Tue 23-Oct-12 15:38:34

Most female doctors wouldn't have a problem working for him. They'll have learned to stand up for themselves dealing with other colleagues and patients. 70% of new medical graduates are female so the Old Guard have had to get used to it. I find most (though not all) are softies underneath, and a pleasure to work for.

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