Hello everyone, I am one of the privileged, though I haven’t always known it. I’ve traveled a long way to become a Yale Professor, but the wind was always at my back, blowing so steadily and gently that it was easy to forget it was there.
I am privileged for many reasons, starting with my gender. As a man, I’ve suffered no discrimination because of my sex. When I was an intern, patients said I looked young, but they never doubted I was their doctor. Some elderly women told me they wished they had my curls, but they never demeaned my appearance. I’ve never been harassed. People listen when I speak. My path has been smooth and straight- no need for detours to defend my dignity or safety.
Our sisters in medicine have traveled a more difficult path, and I’m sorry to admit I haven’t always noticed the headwinds they faced or the obstacles placed in their way. Maybe I wasn’t there when patients turned away from women physicians to speak to the men instead. Or maybe I was too oblivious to notice. Maybe I wasn’t there when male supervisors made sexist comments or unseemly suggestions. Or, again, maybe I just failed to pay attention.
The time has come to end bias, disrespect, and harassment in healthcare. The time has come to ensure our workplaces are just, respectful, and safe, not just for men, but for women too.
At Yale and elsewhere, courageous women are leading the way. Last week, a group of 50 women, including several members and former members of our community, launched Time’s Up Healthcare, an organization devoted to ensuring gender equity and safety in the medical workplace. Yale is among the first medical schools to sign on to this movement. To end gender discrimination, we all have a role to play, men included.
Let’s guarantee that women in healthcare are treated with the same respect and dignity that men take for granted. Let’s end gender discrimination in healthcare. The time has come. In other words, “Time’s Up.”
Yours in solidarity,
PS Please take a minute to watch this video, featuring men speaking up for women colleagues:
How many people can you recognize?
For more on Time’s Up Healthcare: