Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Oh yeah: I'm a Woman

There has been a nice bit of buzz (thanks for all the comments!) from my recent announcement of the upcoming release of my book. Not just my discarding of the protective illusion of anonymity, but the revelation of my gender. No, I am not of the penile persuasion. Indeed, I am a member of the booby brigade.

I should point out that those who came to the wrong conclusion on this topic, although the victims of their own false assumptions, were given no quarter from moi. From the beginning, I have intentionally blogged with carefully chosen gender-neutral language. At first, it was just for fun. Later, it became practice for the novel I'm writing, as the plot depends on the reader making certain false assumptions the first time through; think The Sixth Sense. (Another example here.)

The closest I have come to dishonesty is simply not correcting those who referred to me in the masculine. My ongoing justification is that gender (mine, at any rate) is irrelevant to what I have to say as a board-certified solo family practitioner. Certainly there have been times when culturally based gender assumptions might have detracted from a given point I may have been trying to make. In that sense I admit to have taken advantage of false assumptions. However I submit that my purpose is to have my words taken at face value, rather than distorted by possibly less-than-favorable cultural assumptions.

I was never really anonymous, and I knew it. I have friends and patients who read the blog. My family reads it. (My sister even leaves comments under her own appropriately ambiguous pseudonym.) My children read it! I could never write anything I didn't want one of them to read, and that, of course, will never change. However now that I am "out", I have no intention of altering my blogging style, except perhaps to post more frequently on writing topics. My hope is that all of you continue to find my blog engaging and interesting, whatever the gender of the person behind it.

26 Comments:

At Thu Jul 09, 08:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like your new pic! much cuter than the half-drowned cat.
=^.^=

GD Daughter

 
At Thu Jul 09, 08:24:00 AM, Blogger Peter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Thu Jul 09, 08:26:00 AM, Blogger Peter said...

I always assumed your writing as coming from a male, though to be honest it always stemmed from your blog title. The word 'dinosaur', to me anyway, seems to subconsciously indicate a male or someone with masculine characteristics. Maybe I'm just stating the obvious (or am wrong completely).

 
At Thu Jul 09, 08:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The picture of the "half-drowned" cat reminded me of Wilford Brimley, which I guess in a subconscious way, made me think you were male! Dumb, I know...

Love the blog & looking forward to your book!

AnonRD

 
At Thu Jul 09, 09:14:00 AM, Blogger R. W. Donnell said...

I must say you had me fooled. Maybe it was your frequent use of W.T.F? I dunno. Anyway, congratulations!

 
At Thu Jul 09, 10:11:00 AM, Anonymous Kathy said...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one fooled!!!

 
At Thu Jul 09, 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Leila said...

Peter, I came to the same conclusions for the same reasons you did. I just have never heard of a woman referring to herself as a "dinosaur".

In any case, I was pleasantly surprised to discover #1 Dino is a woman. As a woman myself, I take an interest in occupations and genders. Although medicine nowadays pretty equally balanced between men and women, I think many still assume doctoring is a man's job.

 
At Thu Jul 09, 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous Canuck Med Student said...

Good for you and I can't wait to read your book? Will it be available in Canada or only by special order?

Obviously your gender outing will come as a shock to many people and flip a lot of our gender stereotypes upside down, but here's what I don't get. I remember about 6 months ago on The Happy Hospitalist, he made a number of posts in which he referred to you as a "she." I thought that was odd and skimmed through most of your blog looking for any gender references and I came up with goose egg. My only question is, how the heck did Happy know?

OH MY GOD, IS HAPPY "DARLING SPOUSE???" Tell me it ain't so!

 
At Thu Jul 09, 01:10:00 PM, Blogger Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Love the Pic!

 
At Thu Jul 09, 01:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised so many readers thought you were male. I've known since shortly after I started reading your blog that you were female; the high-heeled shoe menorah gave you away. (Plus, it would be a rare man indeed who would bother to hide his gender for any length of time.)

Congratulations on publication of your book, which is currently in my Amazon shopping cart.

 
At Thu Jul 09, 08:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, I thought you looked like Marcus Welby, only with a clue. I'm pretty sure it was the dino reference that had me fooled.

 
At Thu Jul 09, 09:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have been periodic posts from commentors saying all signs indicated you were a woman; and many things you have blogged about made more sense in the context of a woman (i.e. collect menorahs, blog about your kids frequently, and bake). Not that guys couldn't/don't do all of the above, but as a whole, they fit the profile of woman doctor better.

 
At Thu Jul 09, 11:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, I figured that out a long time ago!

 
At Fri Jul 10, 02:28:00 AM, Anonymous JenniferB said...

I'm thrilled you are a woman, because I have 2 daughters and I like being able to point out to them intelligent, positive examples of strong women in the public. People who can be, and are, real role models for all of us today. I can't wait to read your book!

 
At Fri Jul 10, 03:31:00 AM, Blogger MiniKat said...

Rock on, Dr. Dino!

 
At Fri Jul 10, 03:54:00 AM, Blogger jmb said...

Amen!

I'm going to miss the bad tempered looking avatar.

 
At Fri Jul 10, 08:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've suspected for a while that you were female based upon language use. Something just seemed more familiar and less masculine - glad to see I guessed right. Congratulations on the book!

 
At Fri Jul 10, 04:49:00 PM, Anonymous Satanam in computatrum said...

Eh...I've loved the wit of the writing ever since my first visit. Therefore, ROCK ON, be you male or female! :)

 
At Fri Jul 10, 08:05:00 PM, Blogger Nurse K said...

The dino on your book looks like a doodisaur, FYI.

I'm waiting for my copy!! *nudge*

 
At Sat Jul 11, 07:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been certain for quite a while (almost half a century, give or take) that you're a female. :)

However, I'm not surprised that many of your readers thought you were male, since you have many (good!) qualities that people tend to think of as more typically male than typically female. To take but one example: not suffering fools lightly.

Another: a razor-sharp wit.

Love,

Kensington MD

 
At Sun Jul 12, 12:50:00 AM, Anonymous Pod A said...

Eh, doctors are male until proven otherwise. Nurses are female until proven otherwise. That's just how it is.

 
At Mon Jul 13, 04:33:00 AM, Anonymous outre said...

Congrats on the book!

I thought you were a guy when I first started reading your blog but eventually came to a conclusion you were a woman. It's good to see a name and a face behind all the writing :)

 
At Wed Jul 15, 06:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Have been reading for a while -> actually always assumed you were a male, based on the dinosaur nickname. I'm actually a female doc, so go figure. No overt gender bias here. :-) I hope!

 
At Wed Jul 15, 10:26:00 AM, Anonymous A.J. said...

Wow! You are a woman. Why I thought you were a man I will never know. Looking forward to reading the new book.

I am a Pharmacist. I remember your post concerning one of your patients who went in to the hospital for surgery and came out on 2 or 3 drugs for Type II diabetes. I had a patient at the pharmacy the other day that had the exact same thing happen. Poor guy just had his hip replaced and they diagnosed him with Type II diabetes in the hospital. He leaves the hospital on Metformin 1000mg bid and Glipizide 10 mg bid. The first thing that popped into my head is your reaction when this happened to your patient. I had a 10- minute conversation with his son who was picking up his meds. I strongly encouraged him to see his PCP as soon as he was well enough. I also expressed my concern about starting off on Metformin 1000 mg bid due to the potential for GI upset. Turns out this poor guy with the new hip also has had horrible diarrhea and stomach pain ever since he left the hospital.

Just wanted to let you know your posts can have a far-reaching effect far beyond mere entertainment.

 
At Fri Jul 17, 02:22:00 PM, OpenID crankylitprof said...

Show us yer booooobs!

*smirk*

 
At Sun Jul 19, 12:32:00 AM, OpenID jforbush said...

keep 'em coming, I can relate to * everything * you are writing - love your blog!

 

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