Studying Medicine among sexists: “Don’t be jealous…”

Studying Medicine among sexists: “Don’t be jealous…”
Studying Medicine among sexists: “Don’t be jealous…”

They say that Teaching is a vocation and it is considered one of the most beautiful professions to dedicate oneself to. Having the opportunity to help people in their education is priceless, but not everything is ‘rosy’ and there are negative aspects that can end up ‘overshadowing’ the rewarding nature of this job. And despite being in the 21st century, the shadow of machismo It is still present among the students of some medical schoolswho They do not see the female teacher as an authority figure. And even less if it is someone young, reaching the point of throwing them disrespectful and misogynistic comments which seriously affect them, both in their work practice and in their mental and physical health.Don’t be jealous”, is one of the examples found in classrooms.

This situation is something that has been corroborated Paulaa professor of medicine who prefers to remain anonymous. According to what she told Medical Writing It is clear that in universities there is “a lot of misogyny and “machismo”. “I am a young woman and they are not used to seeing teachers my age. I’ve had students flirt with me in class and disrespecting me. I went to ask for the keys from the concierge and they questioned my request. I was mistaken for a student and treated as such, and I think they should not treat me in such a disrespectful way,” she stressed.

According to this professor’s perception, she believes that men are treated differently than women in the field of education at universities simply because of their gender. “It is easier for them to impose themselves and to be disrespected less than women. I tell you, that It’s happening today“, he stressed.

The disrespectful comments that Paula has received from students are related, to a greater or lesser extent, to her age. In fact, she remembers that One of the situations that impacted him the most It was when he had to call the attention of two students who They were ‘flirting’ in class and, telling them to stop, The boy turned to her and said: “Don’t be jealous.”“It’s hard because you have to be serious when faced with this behaviour, even though you’re not of an age to be serious. Because that’s how it is. But since there’s no respect from the other side, you have to impose it this way. I’m a stern person, but not distant. I like to be close to them and I think that’s difficult when you’re a woman and young.” You have to pretend that you are a professor in the area in terms of your attitude.“, he said.

Machismo in medical schools

In this sense, Paula regrets that she has to change your personality in an “absolute” way to achieve a minimum of respect in the classrooms. Of course, without ceasing to be respectful and cordial with her students. “But I don’t think that is the problem either, but rather that they do not identify our physiognomy with that of an authority that deserves respect,” she lamented.

However, he admits that the worst part occurs during the first few years, when these attitudes catch you “cold”, but with more experience in the sector and, mainly, when you establish a figure of authority, you develop “calluses” and become more flexible. “That makes everything better,” he said.

As is normal, this type of behavior does not go unnoticed and affects both her work practice and her physical and mental health. According to Paula, after hearing an unpleasant comment, she is creates a feeling of insecurity “very big” that makes him feel “very bad” because he doesn’t know if he is “governing” the class well. “I mean that the objective we have is to instruct and educate them, but not only in the specific area in which you teach, but rather in the one that covers all areas of education, and where you have to get them to become good people, and those negative attitudes cannot be allowed. They have to learn to be polite and correct,” he emphasized.

Paula: “A nasty comment makes me feel very insecure and makes me feel bad because I don’t know if I’m managing the class well.”

Measures against sexism in medical schools

To solve this problem, he is betting on a “very large” institutional reinforcement that gives “security” to the workers because, when it does not exist, the feeling of being “abandoned”“It is much easier if your institution looks out for you and treats you with respect. I think universities should recognize that this happens. And, since they mandate a lot of things about protocols, gender violence or inclusive language, which are very important, they should also establish a front against this type of violence against teachers so that they can talk about it openly. Because these attitudes are not acceptable,” she concluded.

However, with a situation of this magnitude it is not possible to generalize, and it is important to know other points of view to see all possible prisms. In the case of Elena Truea professor of Biochemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid, has “never” had a feeling like the one Paula describes during her teaching practice. “And none of my colleagues has ever told me anything about it,” she said.

In this sense, and in the event that they occur, he asserts that the measures to solve it are “quite clear”, and always involve an educational process. Among them: implement policies that promote gender equality and that they support female workers, develop mentoring and support programs for female teachers in their teaching, and involve students in discussions on this subject and mutual respect, among others,” she concluded.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from institutions or health professionals, the information contained in Medical News is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend that readers consult a health professional for any health-related questions.

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