“The doctor's wife is like other women . . . She is no longer part of the creative, collective effort, but has been powerfully pushed aside , and like women all over the world, she was made into the proverbial handmaiden. Unlike her historical counterpart, she would not be in charge of herself, her body, or her destiny or that of her children. She would spend her life doing the bidding of a gender dedicated to healing while simultaneously embracing force, sterility, and technology without touching. She would provide the soft, female perspective to the men heading a profession that at once ironically values healing and life all the while perpetuating authority, fear, and control.”--From Hippocrates’HandmaidensThis riveting new book tells what it is like to be a woman married to a physician. The author, a counseling psychologist and doctor's wife herself for 31 years, has compiled a comprehensive look at these women--from interviews with more than 100 doctors’wives around the country--and their most intimate feelings and experiences.Until now, there has been little information available about doctors’wives, especially from their perspective. Because they have played their roles well--as self-effacing, staunch supporters of their husbands and their husbands’work--they have kept quiet. In Hippocrates’Handmaidens, these women speak candidly about the benefits and the disadvantages of being married to physicians. They share their universal fears and frustrations--of being abandoned for another woman and often, of having few skills or little work experience if they are; of fitting into the very rigid and highly critical medical community; of their feelings of jealously and/or competition with their husbands; and of their lack of power and control in their marriages. They also address the sanctity of medicine and doctors in our society and the traditional values and paternalistic attitudes within the medical community that directly influence their lives. Comments such as “Do you know what it is like to be married to God?” “Doctors take care of their own. It's the wives who are forgotten,” and “I have a vague notion of what it is like to have to sit in the back of the bus,” are common.Hippocrates’Handmaidens unravels the misunderstandings and myths that surround the lives of doctors--and more importantly, their wives. This fascinating book gets to the core of how and why the doctor's wife is the last great stronghold of the feminine mystique in America today. It is an important and readable book for women's studies scholars, therapists, counselors, doctors’wives or women contemplating marriage to doctors, and women and men who are involved in the training and practice of medicine.Among the myriad topics covered in Hippocrates’Handmaidens are:
- Experiences of the doctor's wife--fulfilling a mother's fantasy by becoming a doctor's wife; the role of self esteem and identity; social expectations; perfectionism; and jealousy and lack of ambition
- The husband/doctor-wife relationship--repression and denial; sex and intimacy, or lack of it; the extra-marital affair; who controls the money and finances; coping with pressure; and vacations and leisure time
- Interaction of the doctor's wife with society--dependence on others; friendships with women; the role of the women's medical auxiliary; hardships of malpractice; the strain of moving and relocation; should you work in or out of your husband's office; and looking to the future in all aspects of being a doctor's wife
Contents The Sign on the Doctors' Lounge
Prologue: A Talk on Medical Marriage: No Questions, Please!
The Doctor's Wife--A Historical Perspective
Part I: Her Experience
Self Esteem and Identity Anxiety: Once a Doctor's Wife, Always?
My Mother's Fantasy: My Daughter, the Doctor's Wife
Fringe Benefits: Let's Look at the Bright Side
Super Woman: Her Job Description
Fears and Insecurities
Waiting and Accommodating: He Should Be Home Soon!
Loneliness and Isolation: Does Being Alone Always Mean Being Lonely?
Social Expectation: Use the Correct Fork Please
Perfectionism: Do We Both Have to Be Perfect?
Martyrdom and Sacrifice: Thy Guilt Is Overflowing
Jealousy: Where Has My Ambition Gone?
Kids, Who Remembers the Color of Your Father's Eyes?
When I'm Ill: A Shoemaker's Child
Electronic Intrusions: Enemy Number 1, The Telephone--Love It or Leave It
Part II: Her Experience With Her Husband
Repression and Denial: If I Have Everything, Why Do I Feel Like This?
Sex and Intimacy: Don't Turn on the Lights
Affairs: It Takes Two
Competition: I'm Running as Fast as I Can!
Homosexuality: The Not So Gay Truth
Power and Control--The Money Connection: Who Decides Where We Go on Vacation?
Has He Changed or Have I?
Accessibility: Can He Come to the Phone Now?
Coping: Drugs, Alcohol, Running, TV--Take Your Pick
Medical Meetings: Do You Call That a Getaway?
Loyal at All Costs
Vacations and Leisure Time
Part III: Her Interaction With Society
Dependency Overdose: The Human Habit--Tough to Break
Aura of Medicine: I Married an Institution
Public Image: You Sleep With My Doctor
Friendships: Woman to Woman
Women's Medical Auxiliary: A Rare Institution
The Women's Movement: Effects on Me and My Marriage
Trouble at Home: Who's the Patient Anyway?
Malpractice and Other Strains: The Individuation Process
Relocation: Disorientation Anxiety
Confidentiality: Who's Being Protected?
Me Working: In His Office or Out
My Short Career as Host of "The New World of Medicine"
Divorce: Where Does That Leave Me?
Wife Number 2 or 3 or 4: A Powerful Legacy
Caught Between Medicine and Society : Collusion Is in There Somewhere!
Part IV: Conclusion
Metaphorical Relationships: Wife-Husband, Patient-Doctor
Solutions: Anger, A Case for Conflict Resolution
Where Are We Now?
A Look at the Future
Series: Haworth Women Studies
Number Of Pages: 401
Published: 18th June 1991
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.88
Weight (kg): 0.66
Edition Number: 1