Today two patients called me "nurse". I would have thought that doctors and nurses were easy to tell apart (except for nurse practitioners of course but I will be blogging about that in due course) but obviously this is not the case. Apparently the fact that I am female overrules the fact that I am not wearing a nurse's uniform. I have also been mistaken for a receptionist on several occasions when sitting behind the desk on the ward (despite the stethoscope).
People don't seem to mind coming up to me and asking me if I can get them a cup from the kitchen, or find them a vase, or come and help their relative sit up in bed or go to the toilet. I'm not sure if this is because they don't understand that I'm a doctor or because they think that doctors do that kind of thing.
I'm not sure if people would have done this sort of thing in the past but I'm inclined to think that they probably wouldn't. I think doctors are seen as a lot more approachable now than they were in the past and I'm not sure whether this is entirely a good thing (of course it's mostly good - I don't think people should be afraid of us or anything). It also made me wonder if they would ask a male doctor to do those things. I bet they wouldn't.