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Women in Healthcare

Chandra Wilson From “Grey’s Anatomy” Knows Why We Need Women Surgeons

She may not be a doctor in real life, by the actress and director has a sure-fire prescription for young women interested in becoming surgeons.

What has your experience been like working on the show “Grey’s Anatomy”?

Grey’s has given me tremendous respect for what it takes to create dramatic series television. We have become a place of comfort for our viewers, which makes us continue to work hard to maintain the quality that makes us all so proud.

How would you describe your character Dr. Miranda Bailey?

Our audiences have seen that she’s not just the taskmaster, but a loving person, a fierce mom, a faithful wife, a maternal mentor, a bit of a perfectionist, a driven professional, a mental health advocate, and a heart disease survivor.

Have you discovered more about yourself since starring in the show?

I have discovered I have more stamina than I would have given myself credit for, with an ability to juggle many balls in the air at the same time. Also, that all of that professional training as a kid is deeply rooted in me, so I was ready when an opportunity like “Grey’s” came along.

What does it mean (to you) to play the role of the first female chief of staff and chief of surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital?

As a fan of the show, I appreciate having been able to play a woman who had a big goal 15 seasons ago and being able to watch her have the opportunity to have that goal come to fruition.

What do you think this role showcases to female fans of the show? To women in the field?

Dr. Bailey teaches us that we aren’t always perfect or politically correct, and that our path doesn’t look like anyone else’s. But, go ahead and set a goal anyway, and go about the business of trying to reach it. Learn along the way, so that when you get there you’re ready.

Playing Dr. Bailey, a female surgeon in a high-ranking leadership position, what is your take on having more women in these types of roles in society?

Because of Dr. Bailey’s existence and women like her (not on TV shows), women and girls in the future will never recall a time when a woman could not be in a high-ranking leadership position, or a Chief of Surgery, for instance.

Do you believe it’s valuable to feature women in leadership roles in TV shows, movies, and the media, to viewers?

Women have to be seen in leadership roles in TV shows, movies, and media because it provides inspiration to the viewers for their own journeys and goals.

Do you think it’s important and beneficial to bring more inclusiveness and diversity to the medical field (to the surgical space)?

It is absolutely important that we see more inclusiveness and diversity in surgery because it benefits patients to see people who look like them in the medical professionals caring for them.

Why do you believe we should encourage women to pursue a career in surgery?

It is important to encourage women to pursue a career in surgery if it is the career that they want to obtain, to prove that the goal can be achieved, and to encourage others to try.

In your opinion, what are some ways we can empower and support women currently in the field?

We can support and empower women currently in the field by highlighting them so that we know they are there, practicing, and achieving.

What advice would you offer to women interested in becoming surgeons?

My best advice to women becoming surgeons would be to do the work so you can firmly stand in your accomplishment, knowing that someone will always be watching you for guidance, for inspiration, and maybe even for competition.

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