by Yumiko Kadota
Published by Penguin Books Australia
Publication Date: 2nd of March, 2021
Australian RRP: $34.99
“Yumiko Kadota was every Asian parent’s dream- model student, top of her class in medical school and on track to becoming a surgeon. A self-confessed workaholic, she regularly put ‘knife before life’, knowing it was all going to be worth it because it would lead to her longed-for career. But if the punishing hours in surgery weren’t hard enough, she also faced challenges as a young female surgeon navigating a male-dominated specialty. She was regularly left to carry out complex procedures without senior surgeons’ oversight; she was called all sorts of things, from ’emotional’ to ‘too confident’; and she was expected to work a relentless on-call roster – sometimes seventy hours a week or more – to prove herself. Eventually it was too much and Yumiko quit. Emotional Female is her account of what it was like to train in the Australian public hospital system, and what made her walk away.”
Emotional Female is a must-read for 2021 for readers wanting a book that will perfectly encapsulate overcoming discrimination, personal struggle and courage. This book is not just for females though, these are themes anyone can identify with and especially if you’re in a similar field or struggle with your own mental health, you will find a part of yourself here. I did not have the same pressures as Yumiko growing up but as an Asian female living in Australia I can relate to the internal pressures you put on yourself to excel in your career, to please others and to be what people expect you to be. I think also females reading this book can relate to the weight of having to wear many hats, and for Asian females you’re expected to act a certain way too from what the media and literature portrays you to be.
I knew this book would be a great read for me as it’s not only such an interesting topic and something I often discuss with my friends but it also creates a personal connection for me with the author’s experiences. For myself, working in IT in a heavily male dominated field, sometimes it can feel like your every move is scrutinized. However, after reading this book I do feel inspired to be even more courageous, outspoken and strong-willed everyday.
The medical field is also such an interesting workplace to read about. I love the fast paced world, how everyday is unique and the stories they share of the difference they’ve made to people’s lives. I also loved getting a look into more of the Australian medical system and I think her account was excellent. This book definitely ends of a happy note as her work influences more ownership within the medical system and advocates for better treatment of junior doctors making this a wonderful read not quickly forgotten!
Thanks for reading!
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