What limits the success of women?
Q: In your opinion, what is the primary factor that prevents women from being more successful?
Answer by Kevin Pezzi, MD: Not working as hard as they should, and then trying to compensate for that deficiency by taking shortcuts. Discussing the ingredients to success on The Big Idea Show, Paula Deen, a cheerleader who overcame several obstacles and later became a prosperous chef, said, "You've got to be willing to make a lot of sacrifices—you've got to be willing to work when all of your friends are playing."
Paula knows that the road to success is paved with lots of hard work, but I often see women looking for shortcuts. Rather than becoming a doctor or licensed therapist, they become a foot zone therapist or life coach. Every foot zone therapist I've seen, and most life coaches, are women. In the decade that I have been writing about emergency medicine on the Internet, most of the people writing to me looking for shortcuts were women. Their questions generally boil down to: "I want to wear a white coat and treat patients, but I don't want to invest the years to become a doctor."
If you've read what I said about this topic elsewhere on this site and in www.ERbook.net, you know how I feel about this subject: the needs of patients are paramount, and patients are best served by practitioners who know more, not less. If you aren't willing to make the sacrifice to become a good doctor, then you don't deserve to wear a white coat. If you disagree, read what I wrote about Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants on my other ER site (beginning with the third topic down on this page), and try to change my mind. If you want a second opinion, read the "Should I go to medical school or should I go to PA school?" topic on that page.
Women looking for shortcuts are not necessarily lazy. More likely, they are trying to "have it all" and squeeze too much into their lives at once, striving to be a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, friend, AND professional as they compete with men who are willing to devote more time to their careers. Women face another obstacle if they are very attractive, because such women often get so much so easily that they never learn to work hard. (See the beautiful woman syndrome site for more info on this topic.)