Dr. Barbara Hamilton discusses interventional radiology and her journey to inspire more women to take up male-dominated medical fields.
- [01:40] Dr. Hamilton’s Journey to Interventional Radiology
- [04:23] Being a Woman in a Male-dominated field
- [09:05] How Women in Medicine Can Find Mentors
- [12:17] How Medical Practitioners and Students Can Leverage The Power of Social Media
- [15:08] An Insight into Dr. Hamilton’s New Book
- [18:13] Qualities of a Good Medical Student and How to Build Leadership Skills
- [21:27] Lessons Learnt During Medical Training
Dr. Erkeda DeRouen chats with Dr. Barbara Hamilton, a radiologist who aims to inspire more women to take up male-dominated medical fields. Dr. Hamilton is also a blogger at tiredsuperheroine.com and recently released a book titled Save Lives, Enjoy Your Own: Finding Your Place in Medicine.
Dr. Hamilton’s Journey to Interventional Radiology
When choosing a career path, we always seek inspiration in things we can relate to, such as appearance, hair color, gender, or race. Initially, Dr. Hamilton wanted to be a P.A but quickly changed her preference when she went to college and saw what other med school students were doing. Her moment of inspiration came in her second year during a pathophysiology lecture where they analyzed a chest X-ray, and she was completely sold.
Being a Woman in a Male-dominated Field
Unfortunately, like many medical fields, interventional radiology is male-dominated, with stats pointing at a less than 10% female population. However, being a woman in a male-dominated field comes with its own benefits and challenges. For the most part, it’s easy to be noticed and recognized for exemplary work as a woman. In contrast, you might feel isolated since there are a few people with whom you can relate to. No matter the situation you’re in, Dr. Hamilton believes that as long as you continuously put in the work, you’ll eventually stand out from the crowd.
How Women in Medicine Can Find Mentors
Having a mentor who’s always willing to hold your hand whenever you’re in need can be super helpful in your medical journey. Nonetheless, Dr. Hamilton believes that having many mentors who offer different ideas, values, and experiences in different fields is the easiest way to learn as a medical student. As earlier mentioned, medicine is a male-dominated field; thus, it might be a little difficult to land female mentors. But, that doesn’t mean that you should shy away from male mentors. Many female medical students have openly lauded male medics who positively impacted their medical journeys. However, brace yourself because society is often critical about mentor-mentee relationships between people of different genders.
How Medical Practitioners and Students Can Leverage the Power of Social Media
With everything that’s happening today, more and more people are using digital mediums to reach out to vulnerable people. Dr. Hamilton felt that she had many inspirational stories to share with the world, so she decided to launch a blog. When you decide to share your stories and experiences on the internet, some people will see that as oversharing, which might discourage you. However, if you truly believe that what you’re doing is right, never let anything stop you from doing what you feel appropriate. You never know; your stories might be motivating someone in dire need of some inspiration.
Qualities of a Good Medical Student and How to Build Leadership Skills
Once you decide to pursue medicine, a time will come when you’ll be forced to take up a leadership position. Be it in your team or your field of study, prepare yourself because that time will come. With that in mind, it’s never too early to start developing your leadership skills. And the surest way to do that is by getting involved and learning everything about leadership. You might also employ leadership books that are mostly centered around business topics, but the concepts are still applicable in the medical world.
Lessons Learnt During Medical Training
While your studies or obligations might take up most of your time, the only way you’ll gain the necessary experience is by getting in on the action. By that, we mean volunteering. There’s no professional field that boasts of many volunteers other than the medical world. So, if you’d like to gain hands-on experience, start volunteering because helping out will always be appreciated.