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By Chioma Udemgba, MD. I got called a lady boss the other day!
It was an amazing feeling to have received this high praise! The compliment came from one of the interns in my program. She shared with me and a co-resident that she was in awe of my all-female resident class. It was so cool to see us through her eyes. And I as reveled in my awe-inspiring greatness, I started to think of all the queens and ladybosses that I knew—all of the extraordinary, intelligent, caring, boundless, and beautiful women that I had gone to medical school or worked side-by-side in residency. But, of course, like in every classic TV comedy, I failed the Bechdel test and fell apologetically along heteronormative lines.
My mind somehow drifted to the struggle these queens and lady bosses were experiencing in the dating world.
Despite how remarkable and wonderful I know many of these women to be, a lot of them were having a hard time finding an equally prodigious partner. It is the human in us intelligent, career-focused, hetrong women who are inherently caring and selfless in our professional lives that seek the unmatched companionship and unbridled passion of a partner to share our personal lives. Unfortunately, as is the struggle for all educated women, female physicians and medical students find it harder to successfully date for a myriad of interesting reasons.
And, unsurprisingly, it is even more difficult for women of color. The dating world is a tough place to navigate for all women in general. As usual, if a conversation during girls night gravitates to the topic, we soon find ourselves sharing our failures, lamentably comparing dating battle scars.
It would seem that dating for a female physician at any age or Dating a doctor woman in her career is damn hard. Despite our lack of free time, mountains of work stress, and a professional life that often bleeds over into our personal lives, there are several other reasons dating experts and sociologist have identified as issues that make it more difficult for educated women to successfully date.
There has definitely been an obvious and palpable shift in who is more likely to pursue post-secondary education. So if a female doctor tries to find a similarly educated man to pair herself with, the odds are unfortunately not in her favor.
The dating gap then le to another issue that educated women often face in the dating world — the perception that a smart, successful, financially strong, and independent woman is only desirable in fantasy, not reality. Yes, you can try to date men who are out of your league or who are not as educated as you. But, sadly, according to a social psychology studymen find a woman who they perceive to be more intelligent more attractive until they are less of an abstract thought and more of a concrete reality.
So, unlike what songs by Neyo, Lil Boosie, and Fabulous taunt as a flattering desire for an independent woman, men seem to still face social pressure to be the breadwinner and just prefer to be the alpha. But of course, being a doctor was ranked as the 4th most desirable profession for a man, right after pilot, entrepreneur, and firefighter.
So yes, the average American adult is less likely to be married now than, say, Dating a doctor woman generations ago since people are focusing more on their career and personal fulfillment than finding a spouse. There still is a stigma related to women working and not being the domestic, under-educated beauties we were once expected to be. Men still feel pressure to be the primary breadwinner and women still feel pressure to let them think that at least on the first few dates! A woman can be a work goddess, queen, and lady boss while still bringing all the same elements that a woman without a graduate degree brings to a relationship.
She is passionate about creative writing, graduate medical edication, and working with underserved populations. Dara Baker, MD. Advances in Therapy for Inherited Blindness.
Rabia Yunus Karani, MD. Mukund Gnanadesikan, MD. Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members. Op-Med is a safe space for free expression and diverse perspectives.
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