Surgeon slams hospital for ‘everyday sexism’ after staff member lists her male colleagues using their professional titles on whiteboard but leaves hers off
- Dr Virginia Bowbrick, a vascular surgeon at Kent’s Medway NHS Foundation Trust hospital shared photo of a clinic whiteboard where she works on Twitter
- The whiteboard, used to list who’s working the clinic that day, used titles for the male physicians but simply addressed Dr Bowbrick by her surname
- Dr Bowbrick tweeted: ‘We either all have titles or none of us do’ – with many other female healthcare professionals saying they’d experienced similar
- In August, a similar whiteboard listed the surgeon’s name as ‘Mr Bowbrick’
A consultant vascular surgeon has criticised a hospital where she works after she was addressed on a whiteboard by only her surname, while her male colleagues were afforded their full professional titles.
Dr Virginia Bowbrick tweeted her frustration after a staff member wrote the names of her male peers working in the clinic as ‘Mr’ or ‘Professor’ on a ward whiteboard but simply wrote her name down as ‘Bowbrick.’
Tweeting her followers, Dr Bowbrick wrote: ‘We either all have titles or none of us do but as the only woman in clinic today apparently I don’t deserve any title although my male colleagues do.’
She added the hashtags #untitling and #ilooklikeasurgeon and posted a photo of the whiteboard, which is believed to have been taken at the Medway NHS Foundation Trust in Gillingham, Kent.
Scroll down for video
Dr Virginia Bowbrick, pictured, a vascular surgeon at Kent’s Medway NHS Foundation Trust hospital shared photo of a clinic whiteboard where she works on Twitter
The whiteboard, used to list who’s working the clinic that day, used titles for the male physicians but simply addressed Dr Bowbrick by her surname
MailOnline has contacted the hospital for comment.
After reading the tweet, dozens of people including fellow female surgeons commented on the surgeon’s post saying they’d experienced something similar and calling the incident ‘so disrespectful’.
Dr Bowbrick, who is also Head of the School of Surgeons, which trains student surgeons, addressed the responses today, writing: ‘It seems that this is a heartfelt issue by many including myself and just one of the everyday sexisms we face usually due to unconscious bias.’
The healthcare professional has previously revealed that she’s also been listed as ‘Mr Bowbrick’ in the past, after a colleague made the assumption that a heart surgeon would be male.
Dr Bowbrick tweeted: ‘We either all have titles or none of us do’ – with many other female healthcare professionals saying they’d experienced similar
Of the responses that ensued after the photo was posted, many said ‘everyday sexism’ was a common experience in hospitals.
@surgicalsheel added: ‘This has happened to me too. So disrespectful. It’s not an issue with an individual – it’s systemic. Flag it to the clinic nurse in charge – there is a need for extra staff training. Let your business manager know too. This is not acceptable. It’s titles for all or none.’
@DeakinSue1 wrote: ‘It’s these multiple little things that add up in my experience. Though sometimes people worry about whether we are Miss Ms or Mrs as female surgeons. Easier if we doctors of any kind were Dr.’
Not the first time: In August, a similar whiteboard listed the surgeon’s name as ‘Mr Bowbrick’
@clivebagley added: ‘I hate titles and I particularly hate gendered titles. Utterly irrelevant in this day and age.’
The School of Surgery, of which Dr Bowbrick is head of, responded suggesting that pronouns weren’t useful, saying: ‘We all should move to first name/surname/role in context.
‘So, no Miss/Mr/Mrs/Mx or even Dr (medical degrees are masters level degrees). Not sure why someone has Professor in a clinical environment either, as it’s not relevant and causes as much confusion as all the above.’