I wrote this short piece today and posted it on LindedIn. I don’t have a clear idea as why I wrote it. Perhaps I want to cause people’s attention to this well-known phenomenon.
More female nurses than male nurses.
More female nurses than female doctors.
More male doctors than female doctors.
More male doctors than male nurses.
More nurses than doctors.
Naturally, more money paid to a doctor than to a nurse.
In a team building event at my work place early this month, an announcement was emailed out, “Bowling lanes will be reserved: 8 people per lane/6 lanes so be thinking about how you want to construct team competition!” One doctor replied all, asking to have four guys on his team. I replied to him, “From my observation, the healthcare hierarchy is like a pyramid, the downward you go, the larger is the crowd, the less guys you will find there.” So I wished him good luck on getting four guys among nurses.
A quick search on the Internet confirms my observation. Beckers Hospital Review’s “Gender ratio of nurses across 50 states” reveals ratio of females to one male in America as 9.5 to 1. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows the distribution of physicians by gender in percent with female taking up 33 percent and male 66 percent in America.
I was wondering how other countries are like in this regard. So I got the data on female doctors as percentage of the total in 2000. See my article posted on LinkedIn. At least we are getting better now than 16 years ago.
Here’s another one that I read recently on overdosing of prescription drugs. Again, I can see the role of doctor in this trend and again patients should be well-informed regarding prescription drugs– “Drug overdose deaths spike among middle-aged women” by Fatimah Waseem, USA TODAY 1:01 p.m. EDT July 2, 2013.
“Their drug of choice is usually prescription painkillers.
More women are dying from prescription painkiller overdoses than ever before, highlighting what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls a growing public health epidemic.
The CDC study shows that while men are still more likely to die of overdoses, the number of deaths among women increased five-fold in the last decade, four times more than deaths in women from cocaine and heroin combined, says CDC director Tom Frieden. About 12% of these deaths were suicides, CDC experts said.
The rate of prescription drug overdose deaths of women increased 400% from 1999 to 2010, compared with an increase of 250% for men. More men die of prescription painkiller overdoses — about 23,000 in 2010, compared with 15,300 for women.”
On 3/8/2012, a monitor from Portland Oregon came. I mentioned to her International Women’s Day. To my surprise, she had never heard of this. She did not even know March was Women’s history month. I thought people from west coast must be less provincial than folks in midwest.
The next day she was here again. We chatted a little bit about women’s status in America. I said to her “Think this way, women make up more than half of the total population, yet they represent less than 17% in US congress. That’s why we see the ridiculous things like having all these men decide whether or not women can have abortion or contraception.”
She said it was because men were richer and more powerful than women. True, one needs to have money and power to get into politics. But why is it so? Is it because men are more capable, or more intelligent, or more aggressive? Is this the root cause of all gender inequality? I cannot bring myself to accept this. Can you?
The recent national debate on contraceptive and the ranting with extreme language by Rush Limbaugh against Sandra Fluke, a student representative serve to remind us that women still have a long way to go before achieving full equal treatment.
Whether it is contraception or abortion, the burden always rests on women, as if there were consequence only for women and nothing at all for men, as if only women need to act responsibly but not men. That partially explains why there are so many single-parent families headed by women, and so many of this type living in poverty.
The assumption behind this belief is erroneous at best, pernicious at worst. It calls for awakening of more women and their continuing fight for more gender equality.
During the debate on Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, I wrote the following for the midwest voices. But my daughter said it was not a proper format. So, here it is.
If I were a poor woman…
I would know that I have fewer life choices than my wealthy sisters.
If I had an unwanted pregnancy,
I would know that I cannot afford to have an abortion anywhere I want.
But it doesn’t matter, for
There is always that unfailing safety net for my baby.
Should this safety net be broken,
I’d compile a list of pro-life activists.
I’d go door-to-door seeking their help, for I figure
They would care for the born ones as much as those unborn.
I’d teach my baby to be a pro-lifer, and
Welcome more of the same in the future.
Let us be happy in the provided net of safety for life.
If I were a poor woman…
I would know that I have limited choices in life.
I would know that I cannot depend on others to give me more choices
I would know that I cannot count on others to take care of me and my babies.
I’d try to avoid unwanted accidents.
Should I be unfortunate enough to have an accident,
I’d seek help among pro-choice activists.
I’d work hard and learn skills, for
I would want to be independent and to have more choices.
If I climbed out of poverty,
I’d reach out to those
Who are like my former self
I’d be standing out for pro-choice.
I’d help my poor sisters to climb out of their safety net.
For those who wait for others to save them,
Go for the second choice, for
No net is as safe as your strong self.
Continue with my notes on this wonderful book, CONNECTED: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler, 2009. I first posted my reading notes on this book toward the end of February of this year. Here’s something rather interesting regarding the impact of widowhood on men and women.
The finding is men suffer more from widowhood effect than women, that is, many of them die not long after their wives passed away.
The explanation is this. “… it may be that when men die, the things they brought to the marriage that had the greatest impact on their spouse’s health, namely money, is still around, such as a house and a pension. Conversely, when women die, the thing they brought to a marriage that most affect their partners’ health, namely, emotional support, a connection to others, and a well-run home, disappears. Widowed men often find themselves cut off from the social world and lacking social support.” I believe some men will challenge this finding by arguing against the importance of women in their lives.
Last Friday, 10/22, was an eventful day for some people at least. The president of our practice made an important announcement throughout the whole practice at six or seven locations at the same time via teleconference at 7:30 AM, the first of its kind since its inception. As one doctor commented, “Sounds like the aliens are going to attack us.”
Last Friday evening, as my daughter and I drove past Overland Park Convention Center (OPCC) on our way to Whole Foods to get a pizza, we noticed the parking lot of OPCC was fully jammed and the additional event parking lot was jammed, too. “Look like the whole town has come over here,” my daughter commented. “There must be some fairs with tons of freebies tossing the air,” I said.
We went ahead getting our pizza, back home, had our dinner. Then we walked down to OPCC, since it is within walking distance from our house. It turned out to be the sale of holiday-mart, selling holiday season stuffs, whatever that is.
Instead of freebies everywhere, you have to pay for an entry ticket even to get into the mart. They were so many people there, making me wondering if we were back to the old economic expansion days.
As we were leaving OPCC, my daughter commented, “It’s strange that of so many people here, you don’t see a single man.” Very much true, but why?
We brainstormed for an answer. I am certain there is no certain answer to this phenomenon, still we can draw some conclusions from this fact.
First, women enjoy holiday shopping and men don’t.
Second, women have time for this while men don’t. Probably not.
Third, women like spending money while men don’t. Maybe not so.
Fourth, this might be one of the reasons why women are low achievers in all fields, art, music, literature, science and technology.
I surely hope my daughter will not become one of those holiday shoppers. We got to have better things to do with our lives.
The division of labor in the pre-modern family demands wives to play an overall care-taker role to all family members when men work or fight or hunt outside and women stay home snugly. Men have a very rough day outside, bringing home food, protecting women and children with their muscle and bravery. They come back home expecting safe, care and even pampering by their wives whose mission of life is to serve.
In modern time, technology and education equip women with equal ability and opportunity to work and compete, when muscle and bravery are not required in nearly all decent-pay jobs. With high divorce rate, women find it necessary to be economically independent. Moreover, given equal opportunities and education, many women work outside not only for more financial security but seeking personal fulfillment. Hence, the traditional role of women as care-giver in the family is not applicable any more. With everything being equal, modern family should emphasize mutual respect, understanding and loving care to each other.
However, this traditional role of women is still emphasized today in that women are expected to serve and pamper their husbands as if it were okay for men to behave like children in the family and never needed to mature and grow up. Who cares how much stress it would be on women when they have to tough it out both at work in business world and at home, babying their husbands. Indeed, isn’t it true that women are supposed to be super-beings, taking care of their career, their children’s education and upbringing, and their big husband-child when most likely this “big child” is even older than the wife-mother! Yes, young wives are so much desirable among old men. Luckily, this is not difficult to achieve for most of women.