Girl Power: Women Working in Medicine
By Abby Nutter
As a woman, aspiring to become a doctor, I find myself constantly facing the ever-important question: “When will you have children?” As someone who feels they are not inherently limited because of her gender, I find myself flummoxed by this inquiry. I wonder why it is that people feel comfortable inquiring about such a personal topic. I also wonder if they have the same response for a male counterpart of my age with the same professional aspirations. Speaking from personal experience, I know people do not question my brothers who are in their late twenties on when they plan to start a family, yet because of my gender people feel the need to question me on this topic. I decided to channel my frustration regarding this matter into my senior project. I have spent days shadowing different female doctors and interviewing them on any sort of adversity they have faced as women in a powerful professional field. Observing these strong women has inspired me to be equally empowered in my everyday life.
On any given day one can feel the female empowerment that exudes from the Obstetrics and Gynecology division of the Christ Hospital location on Montgomery Road. I spent the day with Dr. Valerie Allen and her completely female staff last week, and learned about women’s increasingly prominent role in medicine. Dr. Allen, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati Medical School, is a perfect example of an empowered woman. The OB/GYN and mother is an inspiration to all young women aspiring to balance a career and family. While, our country has made significant progress in the movement for gender equality, women still face substantial pressure to put their careers on the line when raising a family. When questioned on this topic, Dr. Allen explained that people are always going to have preconceived notions attached to gender, but as women we deserve to be celebrated for our success both inside and outside of the home. “You really can do both,” she shared with me, “Yes, you have to make sacrifices, but if you are determined you can and will be successful.” She explained that while it has been a long road to get her to where she is today, it has been incredibly worth it. After spending the day with her I was completely motivated by her undeniable brilliance and vivacious personality. She glided through the office, professionally assessing each patient, while creating a comfortable environment for everyone. She explained that she loves getting to be a strong woman working in a field that specifically benefits women. As a young woman hoping to become a doctor someday, getting to experience the presence of such a confident, powerful and intelligent woman was a very exciting experience. Dr. Allen is the perfect example of a strong female role model in the medicinal field.