“ I have found that the smartest, most competent, empathetic women in medicine are the most likely to rate their performance as ‘awful’, ‘terrible’, or a failure. This characteristic gets worse the higher the level of coaching that I am providing. This is ridiculous; to make it in front of me, showing me what you can do, you have already achieved more than your peers. Yet when I ask you to describe your smiling, smart and captivating performance that has blown away me and the rest of the group, why can’t you back yourself? You smashed it, so why don’t you say so!

I understand that our popular culture is based upon an unachievable idea of perfection that undermines people’s self esteem, but this is relatively recent phenomenon and you all have at least a decade of medical school and NHS training under your belt. Trust me, the NHS is not that susceptible to modern thought.

So, if this attitude is ingrained in you through the system that trains and sustains you, change must happen. The lack of progressive thought towards work life balance, inherent bias in a system that hasn’t changed in over 70 years and the treadmill model of career progression for doctors must be challenged by those who it most affects. The NHS will survive as long as there are people who will fight for it, if they are crushed, it is finished. So please check out this blog, orthowomen_uk on Instagram or any other of the social media resources showing the women that inspire me.”

From a male surgeon.