How the Female Medical Students in Gen Z are Changing the Patriarchy

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Marcelle Rodrigues Carneiro de Souza Reis, a 3rd-year medical student at Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos -UNICEPLAC in Brasília, Brazil.. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Gen Z is defined as people born between 1995 and 2012, often described as problem solvers and advocates for social justice, equality, and fairness. They are the most diverse generation, and the first to always had access to the internet and technology.  

This generation has such a powerful voice against prejudice and injustice, so it isn’t a surprise when coming to women in the medical field to advocate for their rights. Many women are embracing the terms of feminism different from a while ago, where we wouldn’t see a lot calling themselves feminists. 

That being said, we can see how feminists theories are being implemented on our way of learning once women are outnumbering men in medical schools and now can have more voice over decisions, as that saying “the union brings the force.” As an example of theory, we have the intersectional feminism that brings into medicine the ideas of diversity, inclusion, and works on reflexivity, which are important beliefs to bring into our practice, since this will impact the way we treat our patients. 

Given that, the approaches being made with Gen Z medical students considering women’s health are more empathetic, where they are not seen as inferior or worthless. Still, someone who needs the same care as a man always had, not undervaluing the pain or the complaints as a while ago, many doctors would say it was “feminine hysteria”. 

On the other hand, due to the respect they uphold in most peripheric communities, medical students are now bringing information to other less educated women and empowering them to know their rights, not believing in what a man says. In fact, with IFMSA Brazil we are able to promote campaigns regarding the use of contraceptive methods, how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, speeches explaining what consent is, and every other information we can bring, along with interventions in that community if needed alongside other organizations and professional help.

To summarize, with Gen Z leading transformations inside medicine schools, we are now seeing a more diverse society in race, gender, sexual orientation that requires more acceptable medical practice, and it’s making the most of it. As they say, Gen Z is bringing a new era where prejudice would not ever be allowed, and they will guarantee it. 

References:

  1. Eckleberry-Hunt J., Lick D., Hunt R. Is medical education ready for generation Z? J Grad Med Educ. 2018;10(4):378–381. Available at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6108364/
  2. https://psmag.com/ideas/why-generation-z-is-embracing-feminism
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/the-big-number-women-now-outnumber-men-in-medical-schools/2019/12/20/8b9eddea-2277-11ea-bed5-880264cc91a9_story.html
  4. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)32595-9/fulltext

About the author

Marcelle Rodrigues Carneiro de Souza Reis is a 3rd-year medical student at Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos -UNICEPLAC in Brasília, Brazil. Since little, she was crazy about international culture. She dreams of pursuing a career in the diplomatics as a doctor. When she found out about IFMSA, she saw her life dream come true. This organization has led to bringing her objectives to life, having international
experiences, even more, when joining the roles of coordinating exchanges.

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