not telling people you’re a doctor

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    It drives my husband crazy that I don’t rush to tell people I’m a doctor. But, I hate that feeling you get from some people that you’re “different” from them. So different you couldn’t have anything in common.

    I really notice it from other moms who seem to think having this demanding career means you don’t love your kids. I work part-time and spend as much time with my kids as possible, but most of the SAHM’s I meet look at me like I’m a freak.

    I’m getting better (at my husband’s urging), at coming out with “I’m a doctor” early in the conversation, but since it’s such a small portion of who I am, I hate to have it be the biggest part of the conversation.

    Anyone else out there feel that way? :confused:


    I’m not in your specific situation yet, but I can identify with your feelings. Just telling people that I am going to start med school this year has a way of putting people off. I never just come out and announce it, but I don’t want to hide it either.

    So then, I’m a mom of 3, I get all kinds of comments. Some mild, like, “oh, you must be so dedicated/smart/ambitious” to “well I guess you’ll be too good to talk to us pretty soon!” And of course the, “but what about your kids???”

    It’s not fun to be set aside like that. I think the more matter-of-fact I am about it and the quicker I move on to another topic, the less isolating it is.

    I’m sure more women with your exact experience will have something to say about it too!

    BTW, all working women get that attitude from some SAHMs. :rolleyes:



    My husband is so proud of me…and quick to let the world know I’m a doctor. I don’t have a problem with people knowing, per se, I just don’t want to introduce myself as “Dr. Mya,” you know? I love being a doctor…and am so happy I became one…no regrets.

    I guess my issue is that I like to hear what people have to say, based on me being who they perceieve me to be…and then when they find out I’m a doctor see the expression on their face change as they stumble for the words to say “oh I had no idea!” 😀

    When you’ve experienced someone asking you to refill their coffee (as I have on numerous occasions)…mistaking you for the…what waitress??!!…you wanna say “kiss my :rotfl:

    I’m still young…and a very new doctor…so these little childish things are so fun to me!! :rotfl:


    I can totally relate to feeling out of place when others find out I am a doctor. I attempted to join a church group, “Mothers of Young Children”, and when I told them I was a doctor, they looked at me like I had two heads! I usually get the double whammy if I tell people I am a pathologist. If they even know what it is, they think I cut up dead people all day. I never went back to the church group.

    My husband is also a physician, and we recently attended a cocktail/dinner party with the partners (all men) and wives in a practice he was considering joining. The room soon divided into a “girls” (wives) group and a “boys” (husbands/doctors) group. It was really awkward for me. In one group, I felt out of place for being a woman, and in the other group, I felt out of place for being a doctor. I was really glad husband decided not to join that group.


    I rarely tell people that I’m a doctor, unless it comes up in conversation. I even go by “Mrs.” in my community. I don’t see accountants and secretaries begining conversations by telling people what they do for a living, so why should I? In my mind, my main job is wife and mother, and being a doctor, while important, does not define who I am. I do find that it usually comes up at some point, when discussing “mother” topics (I’m a pediatrician and often can’t help but correct people’s inaccurate ideas) and attitudes definitely do change once they know, but the women I’ve become friend’s with tend to ignore it (unless calling for advice) and treat me like another mom.


    I have found it so hard to get to know other non-medical women. I was once in a women’s group at church and finally started to feel like they accepted me as a person and not a physician. Then, we were in a parenting discussion, and I spoke up (as a parent who has talked to a LOT of other parents) and murmurs of “yes, listen to the doctor!” went around the room. :banghead: I couldn’t believe it. They still saw me as the doctor first and a person with good advice and a loving parent second!
    I’m not in that group any more.
    And I’m very careful about who I develop relationships with, which is hard, given I live in a small town. And it makes me so thankful to find this website and hear that you are all dealing with the same stuff! :grouphug:


    I want to ask in addition.
    Do tell that you are a doctor when you are a patient ?
    (If happened such situation)
    I moved a few times. And I noticed I never tell.


    I wait a while before telling the MD/NP that I am a doctor- they ussu ask “what do you do?” as I would ask most pt’s…


    I have gone back and forth about telling another physician I am an FP. Sometimes, I come right out with it, because my questions and answers are not typical for a civilian, and I think it’s confusing to them, and they might feel I’m covering up and trying to be misleading. And, I want them to know I’m capable of understanding what they say and they don’t need to simplify the information. However, If my husband is with me, I am clear that he isn’t a physician and deserves to have it all explained.


    Last weekend a lovely woman told me I “didn’t seem like a doctor” as a compliment….I said “oh, yes I do”, but didn’t get time say more

    I’ve hid my doctor status several times , in Bradley childbirth classes (said therapist for psychiatrist and my husb. healthcare for pediatrician) , in settings where I’ve just heard TOO MANY times that I can read peoples minds so they don’t want to talk to me……I usually find I can disarm people by claiming my mommy status first, by my standard joke about “standing in line behind my family” if you want psych tx with me, etc. Have been told in a church group that I should “talk more” since I was a Dr…..I try to go places I can talk more as ME 😉


    Have you considered finding other full- or part-time SAHMs who have professional careers on the side, or on hold? I’ve been surprised, in the parents’ groups I lead, to find that the communication gap seems to be more career-trained v. job parents, regardless of whether the career-trained parents are SAH or working fulltime-plus.

    In one of the groups we’ve got a neurobiologist (fulltime), two writers (both SAH but still writing), and a former lawyer who’s left the law behind to raise and homeschool her three kids. We get along pretty famously and understand each other well, and there haven’t been any “how could you put your baby in daycare/how could you molder at home” attacks. A lot of the conversation’s actually about navigating parenthood and professional ambitions simultaneously. The real challenges come when we’re talking with parents who have, you know, jobs, esp. jobs they don’t like.



    As a non-md, I thought I’d throw some feedback from a mom who isn’t in the medical profession. When I was in playgroups a few years ago and a physician joined our group, I felt uncomfortable because I felt that they thought that I was just a sahm because I wasn’t smart enough to do anything else. As a result, I was much more shy about talking with them. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them or think they were great…I was afraid of being judged.

    Little did I know that those physicians that seemed so self-confident and sure of themselves were feeling insecure themselves….




    It is so refreshing to hear from other SAH MomMDs who have experienced the same things as I have. I have been to the Church Mommy group where I was looked as if I had two heads when I happened to mention that I was an Internist staying at home for a while. First of all I think the fact that I am Black threw them for a loop and second there is the misconception that the only black women that stay home are those on welfare. I was stared at, my cookies scrutinized then generally ignored. Needless to say I did not return!


    My husband is also a physician, and we recently attended a cocktail/dinner party with the partners (all men) and wives in a practice he was considering joining. The room soon divided into a “girls” (wives) group and a “boys” (husbands/doctors) group. It was really awkward for me.

    wow…do other people here experience this too? A lot of the non-retail jobs I’ve held have been all-guys-and-me, and the guys never made me feel out of place. I guess I’m surprised (though I shouldn’t be, at this point) to see segregation-by-sex still being an issue.



    I don’t think it’s always segregation by gender, but more separation by interest. The guys might want to stand around and talk about medicine, and their wives about real life. So they might not intermingle. At a recent gathering of my practice (mostly men) I found myself sitting with the wives because they’re hilarious :rotfl: and talk about a variety of things, and I don’t want to sit through another hunting or hospital politics conversation with my partners.

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