Our society is generally trying to move beyond sexist stereotypes about career choices, but we sometimes miss the mark.
A photo shared by @TheMedicalShots on Twitter is an example of this.
In the photo, two toddlers dressed in scrubs walk away from the photographer.
One with long hair wearing pink scrubs and the other with a buzz cut in green. Across the back of each outfit is a message.
The pink says:
"Nurse in Training."
The green says:
"Doctor in Training."
The children, who are holding hands, are indeed adorable.
The insinuation that girls are nurses and boys are doctors is not.
This is cute, isn't it? 😍 https://t.co/ab9YfjiExN— Medical Shots (@Medical Shots)1552233392.0
Many people brought up the problem in the comments, including quite a few female doctors and male nurses.
@TheMedicalShots Nope. Male nurse here— Divvey Fallfan (@Divvey Fallfan)1552250862.0
@Divveyfallfan @TheMedicalShots My brother is also a nurse and a fantastic one at that.— cieraaap (@cieraaap)1552260746.0
If a man comes to your room and introduces himself as your nurse, he is your nurse. If a woman comes to your room a… https://t.co/cK3VOuh56c— Doc Bastard (@Doc Bastard)1552348077.0
It wasn't just medical professionals weighing in.
@coffeespoonie @TheMedicalShots Agreed.... From a gender stereotyping perspective and just a "don't put young kids… https://t.co/A1G4VCjRgM— Edward Finer (@Edward Finer)1552251563.0
@TheMedicalShots No it’s not. Why isn’t she a Dr as well? Or why is the boy not a nurse?— Twenty-One 💋 (@Twenty-One 💋)1552233562.0
Some took a more humorous approach to disagreeing.
Memes were present, as always.
@TheMedicalShots https://t.co/AoXx0anePu— D. King, MD (@D. King, MD)1552253498.0
@TheMedicalShots https://t.co/YgUDyHoisj— Scott Barolo (@Scott Barolo)1552305057.0
@TheMedicalShots https://t.co/Thqf8jU9sy— Ev AKA The New 𝓑𝓪𝓻𝓫𝓲𝓮 (@Ev AKA The New 𝓑𝓪𝓻𝓫𝓲𝓮)1552257727.0
@TheMedicalShots Ah yes the Two Genders™ https://t.co/60mSCPXNl9— jaclyn (@jaclyn)1552258114.0
@angg_fn edited the text on the scrubs to reflect what both depict:
@TheMedicalShots https://t.co/KALPEv9uSM— Angel Fernando✨🌻 (@Angel Fernando✨🌻)1552251120.0
The discrepancy between the amount of men and women who are nurses and doctors, respectively, has improved over time. There are still relatively few men becoming nurses, however.
A paper from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth states that men make up only 13% of all of the nurses in the United States.
A University of California at San Francisco study shows that male registered nurses still make more money than their female counterparts, around $5000 more per year.
As the demand for skilled medical professionals increases with our aging population, we need to set aside the idea that gender has anything to do with who should be a doctor or nurse.
We need a whole lot more of both.