Owning Your Feminine Authenticity as a Woman in Medicine

burnout weight loss Jan 16, 2024

I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my outfits lately. The reason is that I recently Marie Kondo’d my closet and got rid of all the things in my closet that I didn’t use or didn’t love. 

So I tossed ill-fitting blouses from decades ago, t-shirts that were worn out, and dresses that were no longer my style into a large donation pile.

When I got to my stack of scrub shirts and pants, my uniform for the 15 years that I worked in the Emergency Department, I hesitated to toss them as I had identified strongly with #ScrubLife

Putting on scrubs used to make me feel like a hero, much like I imagined super heroes felt when they put on their cape. Maybe I would need them one day I thought even though it’d been more than a year since I stepped inside the ER. This thought of perhaps one day doing Locums Tenens had been keeping me stuck for quite some time. 

Since I had pivoted to telemedicine, I no longer had to lead the scrub life. 

When I first transitioned to seeing patients online, I wore scrubs because it was part of what allowed me to step into my Emergency Doc alter ego for so many years. 

But within a few months, as I reflected and began to reconnect with the woman I was before I started working in the Emergency Department, I became averse to wearing scrubs while seeing patients virtually.

That’s because I no longer felt scrubs reflected who I was and the ways in which my identity had shifted in my new practice setting.

After a decade and a half of wearing scrubs to work in the Emergency Department, I realized just how much I had lost not only my personal sense of style, but also my identity

The scrubs took away my femininity which seemed "a weakness" in the male dominated world of medicine. While scrubs were practical and forgiving of extra pounds, for me the solid blue scrubs had also become boring and made me feel "blah."

But moreover, wearing scrubs made me blend in and hid my individuality. (Medicine has a way of taking that away from most people.) The uniform also gave me an excuse to not have to pay attention to clothing trends or even my own personal sense of style. 

Wearing plain scrubs was a reflection of how I had stopped even considering who I was and what I wanted in life. I had become numb to my hopes and aspirations and even how I wanted to dress as a form of self-expression.  

Finally, I looked at the pile of scrubs and asked myself the two screening questions I had used to tackle the clutter in my closet: Am I using these? Do they bring me joy? The answer was no on both counts. 

In fact the pile of unused scrubs brought me guilt and kept me living in the past. They kept me from closing the door on the #ScrubLife chapter of my life. So I grabbed a large shopping bag and swiftly stuffed all the scrubs in and threw the bag in the donation pile. It felt liberating to make a decision and finally let go of the thing that seemed so representative of that chapter of my life. 

I no longer needed to hide myself in my scrubs. I could express my individuality in my attire. I could wear colorful floral blouses and skirts beneath my white coat. (I couldn’t remember the last time I’d taken care of a patient while wearing a skirt and so fully embracing my femininity.) 

I could wear my favorite dangly earrings again during virtual visits. I could even have a vase full of peonies from my garden sitting on my desk to brighten up my day.  All of this was me. All of this was okay. And finally now I could bring all of me to my work as a physician. 

I found myself in my closet. Clearing out the clutter forced me to shed some of the artifacts of my old life, and it was so life affirming. It reminded me of the woman that I was before I became a doctor; the one who had her own unique sense of style; the one who would meet with her girlfriends and so often hear them say, “Archana, I love your outfit. It’s so you!”

Mama Doc, want help reconnecting with your authentic self and fitting back into some of your favorite old clothes, apply for a spot in my Mama Docs Weight Loss Accelerator where I will help you shed the extra pounds and the identities that no longer serve you.

Are you ready for lasting weight loss in just 5 minutes a day?  Click the button below to apply for my Mama Docs Weight Loss Accelerator and get ready to lose the weigh for the last time.

Apply Here

Goodbye, burnout. 

Hello, energy and joy!

End overwhelm, exhaustion, and burnout in just 4 weeks without quitting your career or going part time with Thrive Rx: Coaching for Healthcare Professionals.  
Show Me How