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A doctor in Australia wants to change peoples’ perspectives of medical professionals with tattoos.
Well… good luck with that, madam…
Dr. Sarah Gray is a 33-year-old model and orthopedic service registrar. She also owns her own tattoo studio. Gray says she’s sick and tired of getting the same reaction from her patients when she rolls into their exam room covered in ink as well as piercing sand pink and purple hair.
“Being a tattooed professional there are more people with visible tattoos now and it’s being seen as more of a societal norm in all industries,” Gray told the Daily Star. “Tattoos don’t make you a bad person and anyone that thinks that is just a representation of their unconscious bias, not of who I am as a person.”
She’s absolutely right, but to accomplish her goal she’ll need to reprogram society’s perception of what doctors are supposed to look like.
People expect certain looks from certain professions. Take pilots for example. If the person flying your plane walked on wearing lounge pants instead of a neatly pressed set of slacks, you’d wait for the next flight to Vegas.
Doctors are the same way. You want someone who can at least give you an illusion of being clean-cut and having everything together.
“There shouldn’t be any stigma around tattoos. It’s literally just colour in your skin. It doesn’t [define] you or your skill or capabilities to perform any task.”
I don’t know that I’d have a problem with my doctor showing up with a neck tattoo, but I wouldn’t be over the moon about it.
For certain jobs, a bit of ink is part of the uniform. Rock musician, roadie, tattoo artist, snake handler/enthusiast, etc.
“Doctor” isn’t typically on that list. But maybe Gray can change that.
Gray Wants To Encourage “Diversity And Self-Expression”
“We should actively encourage diversity and creative self-expression,” Gray said We weren’t born to be sheep.”
Right, but that self-expression doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want without judgement from others. People are going to feel the way they feel. That could mean that they won’t be super thrilled about a doctor with a skeleton hand tattooed over their own hand performing a prostate exam on them.
Still, Gray says she has had mentors who looked past her copious amounts of ink and instead saw her potential.
“They let my work ethic and compassion for others speak for itself. Those who are clouded in judgement by how I look, I wouldn’t want to work with anyway,” she said. That’s their loss, not mine.
“I’m working in a conservative industry but the world is evolving and becoming more accepting of others, as it should.”
Whether people like it or not, there’s no denying Dr. Gray has made it work. More power to her.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle