The 25 Women project: linked journeys of medicine, psychiatry and life
24 March, 2021
Introductions are important as to how we can get to know any person we meet. How we are greeted and made to feel valued are important matters that determine a relationship of understanding and value. So here I have the pleasure of inviting you to meet five women out of our ‘25 Women’ gems.
Once the final edits for our 25 Women project were completed, I realised that each woman featured can easily be likened to a jewel. I felt privileged to learn about what is deeply meaningful to each woman and I am sure you will feel the same by reading on. I now see these five stories from our women as like a gleaming gemstone bracelet held to the light on the arm of our project ‘25 Women’. Together the group form a celebratory investment piece –the women have generously provided for an interlinking of their narratives both personal but also, in parts, universal for us all to identify with.
As is natural, each part will convey a different sense for each of us; each facet shines differently according to context. Some may leave us wondering if some aspect of ourselves could have more light shone upon it at some time. How do we find opportunities for a range of mentorship and give it back to others? How do we find our particular joy in our everyday work, in kindness and depth of listening to others in much need? How do we manage our own wellbeing and conflicts when faced with the ups and downs of our difficult work or home life? How can we come to terms with all that life throws at us including harassment, world relocations, racism, gender inequality, shame, various losses and still shine through hopeful, even maybe more bright or undimmed? Can we, should we, go high when others go low, in becoming special and finding ourselves throughout our lives as women doctors and beyond?
So here is the turn of Drs Rutherford, Sukumaran, Young, Tan and Tsatalou. Their alphabetic order means nothing more than convention. Yet their individuality and authenticity stands for very much indeed. These women’s narratives exemplify what it takes to have faced varying degrees of marked difficulties and rewarding successes throughout the linked journeys of medicine, psychiatry and life. Please then, take in this bracelet of stories and enjoy each part, with its surface and depth of richly generous reflection.