I read with interest the article by Dr. Sandra Scott Simons. (ER Goddess: “Yes, I'm Really the Doctor,” EMN 2015;37:8; http://emn.online/Dec15ERGoddess.) As a frumpy old man who has practiced medicine since 1974, I can understand some of the misconceptions that people might have regarding doctors. I have experienced similar misconceptions when I walked into situations with young, college-educated women who had children my son's and daughter's ages.
When the school announced that it needed parents to work at pizza day, chaperone class trips, or do any number of volunteer tasks, you can bet that I would be at the bottom of the list of those called. I have been mistaken for the janitor on more than one occasion, and was asked to mop the floor or to take out the trash when I was there to help decorate for the Christmas play or serve food in the cafeteria. At first I was offended, but soon I came to realize that I was simply working in an environment where people were used to seeing women only. I suggest that medicine is changing rapidly and, in many ways, for the better. If people think that any man at school is a janitor or that any woman in the ED is a nurse, don't take it too seriously.
Mark Schaffield, MD