A viral video of a heart surgeon discussing his experience pushing out a woman from a life-threatening condition shared a powerful message: Women in medical settings face great challenges—they can’t be gender neutral in a male world.
The surgeon, Dr. Radko Todorov, who is on unpaid leave from Hamilton Health Sciences, was fired for posting the meme, which critics took to refer to the new CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, Rebecca Hernandez, as the head of a hospital “run by men.”
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Some commenters on Facebook were quick to defend the doctor, calling it a “fundamental misunderstanding of the work …”
However, some who criticized the situation were taken aback.
Some Facebook commenters suggested the post to the Facebook page of Hamilton Health Sciences was “unbelievable,” while others posted “NO! No more!!!!” and “That is crazy and irresponsible.”
In a statement given to The Gleaner, Dr. Todorov admitted to being “frustrated with the unwanted personal attention given to a personal event.”
“So, a male world and gender neutrality get mixed up,” wrote one commenter on Facebook. “Keep it on the surface, boys.”
“I’m a surgeon in The Bronx and I work with different minorities every day,” wrote another. “Health care really is a male world to where I work and attend, therefore I have no clue why this idiot made the post.”
“So was its a case of sexism as a whole or was she just picked on because she is a woman?” a comment asked.
But some defended the surgeon, saying “Men have the power of upping and leaving. But that is unprofessional and cannot be tolerated.”
“Well, This is the type of dismissal that is so common in the healthcare field,” said another. “The last person who posted such a meme on Facebook may be pregnant.”
A third wrote, “Women are also scared to give birth. Being female can also mean being gender specific. In my experience, this is often compounded by being gender non-conforming.”
Inexplicably, the physician wrote that “Treating women gives you more power than the power it buys.”
But after reports surfaced that a statue of Jesus Christ and his disciples would soon become a memorial dedicated to the women’s reproductive rights fight, many Facebook commenters had strong statements for Todorov.
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“You are a trained professional. Treat women as women,” one commenter wrote. “Not as anything else.”
“Never lose your ability to treat someone as a woman, never. Treat everyone as people,” another woman said.
A final commenter said, “That’s what they need to start teaching in medical school now: treating all human beings as if they are the same.”
This story originally appeared on TheGleaner.com.