“OVERCOMING THE FEAR” is Resident Bolde’s answer to the blog post The Fear. The purpose of this book is to teach entering women residents the lay of the land they are going into when they transition from medical school to residency training. The ACGME lists what its milestones are but what is not clearly understood is that residents will have to achieve these milestones within a high overhead, high risk business model. The resource that gets severely restricted within this business model is time. The restriction of such a vital resource breeds fear, tribalism and discrimination within a hierarchy with a very steep power gradient which essentially subjects women physicians to the domestic violence dynamic seen in intimate relationships. Given the universality of misogyny, women cannot rely on institutions to be supportive. This book gives a specific strategy and tactics for women to apply to protect their economic agency when there is no support within the workplace.
Resident Bolde’s personalized coaching is geared to help medical students and residents learn how to effectively handle abuses of power in the hierarchy of academic medicine. While abuses of power are experienced by all residents, women surgical residents are particularly vulnerable. This is due to the culture of deference in surgery, internalization of the patriarchy, internalization of gender roles and the universality of misogyny. These factors make the power gradient typically steepest for women surgical residents. Research published in 2019 has shown that female surgical residents are at increased risk of suicide ideation due to gender discrimination.
While research is important so is learning the lay of the land and going into residency training with your eyes wide open. You need mentoring that is validating, empowering, real and practical. You need words to put to the emotions you have been feeling and you do not know why. It is not you. It is the system. You are not alone.
Pre-Meds, Medical Students, Residents and Attendings are all welcome to get help. Resident Bolde mentoring is also be useful for women in male dominated fields in general.
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