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Wed Nov 3 17:31:52 EST 1993

>Has anyone else out there had similar situations with their family? Do they
>still feel like the "strange one" at family gatherings??
>Gina Berardesco
>4700gbera at umbsky.cc.umb.edu

I hope no one minds my responding (as a white male), but I'll try to
keep this pointed from my wife's perspective.

I am in my seventh year (of nine) in an MD/PhD program.  My wife has a
Masters in Physical Therapy, and has been working now for four years.

There is no question that she has a much better working knowlege
of clinical medicine (especially with respect to cardio and
neuro), since I only have two years of basic science classes
compared to her four years of full-time clinical experience.  However,
all of her family, with very rare exception (usually that I'm not
around), will address medical questions first to me.  I almost always
defer the question to her, unless it is something that I am directly
familiar with from my research (after all, those med classes were a
few years ago).  If it were just a matter perceived training on their
part (they think that I know more just because of the program I'm in)
I would have expected the last 5 years of my referring the question
to her to have have modified their behaviour into asking her first (at
least until I've finished medicine).  Unfortunately, they keep asking
me first, and I'm fairly convinced it's because of a sexist mindset.
Not that it took a genius to figure that out--  after all, her brother
has been known to joke (half seriously) that women shouldn't be
allowed on the golf course except during off hours, since they play so
slowly and talk too much.

Dean Lee
Department of Micro
dLee at ccmail.llu.edu

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