Delicateness and Being a Doctor


Recently I was feeling how delicate I am, and is something I most easily connect to through my hands. How my hands feel and look to me reflects the level of delicateness I am allowing in my every daily movements. Note here I say allowing.

Delicateness is a quality we all can have and be in our day to day movements – and is so enjoyable both for us and everyone around us.

It is harmless to say the least and means none of the harshness we so commonly have in our day to day interactions can be there in one iota.

Of course we are not perfect, but from what I observe, people don’t hold each other or themselves anywhere near delicately enough.

There are many reasons for this, and what it essentially boils down to is that we haven’t been shown how to, or valued this quality enough as a society.

Men who are delicate are criticised for being a ‘wuss’, a pansy, caring too much about their appearance or for how much detail they feel to put into how they dress or interact with others. No man is too big or ‘tough’ to be delicate in their movements, and certainly does not mean they don’t shine with their beautiful masculine qualities – in fact it only adds to their beauty.


Women hold back their delicateness for fear of being attacked, and fair enough with the annihilation that happens to this quality from both women and men when it is displayed and brought to the fore of our expression. What I observe is that women will go so far with delicateness and bringing aspects of the beauty of this in their expression, but never the ‘whole hog’ – or whole flower as we could put it in these terms. It’s like there are women walking around with petals missing.

We keep aspects of ourselves in the ‘mud’ (remember the ‘whole hog’) so we don’t shine. We can do this by:

  • Not buying clothes that allow us to be all the sass and spunk we are (no brand names required!!)
  • Not wearing makeup if we feel to that shows our radiant beauty
  • Taking on too many things so we never have time for ourselves and the delicateness our daily routine requires
  • Allowing people to take advantage of us and our skills to likewise keep ourselves in constant motion and not in the stillness we grow and blossom from…

These are but a few examples and I’m sure women and men could relate between the two.

From my personal experience, medicine is not an easy area to be delicate in – I’m sure a common thread through many professions.

Every day going to work you can feel bombarded by people’s demands and problems, troubling symptoms and puzzles we take on the responsibility of solving. This combined with the almost impossible feat of staying ‘on time’ – something you really have to let go of and also try to be very precise with in order to ensure our days flow to the best they can. Fortunately in General Practice we can choose our hours – but do only get paid for those we actually see people in front of us therefore prioritising how much lee-way time and ‘personal’ time we allow has to be balanced with how much we do or feel like we need to earn.

Unfortunately in the hospital system it still sounds like a bunfight and I certainly know that it was hard to honour my bodily requirements on some ward rounds (drinking water, weeing and eating when I needed to), let alone my delicateness.

It’s interesting though, as over the years I have prioritised my own delicateness more and more in my daily routines and development, and at this point can feel there is actually a beautiful strength that comes with it. It is not the harshness or force in protection that I thought I needed to put up in order to deal with the washing machine that can be life. It is most certainly not ‘resilience’ as it actually cannot be crushed when we allow it in full, despite what we think delicateness may be. Covering up my delicateness to ‘fit in’ to a rough and tumble world actually did me more harm as I donned ways of moving and adapting that were not me. Coming back to how delicate I am, has been like coming home and my body finally feels free to move in its most natural way.

In medicine we have a long way to go before we actually honour people’s delicateness – both the doctors in our workforces and the patients we see everyday. I feel like it’s something people have given up on, or say is not possible (or even speak about as a thing!), however I certainly beg to differ. It’s as simple as it being a quality we are taught to honour, value and take care of – from the time we are children right through to our University and medical training programs.

I personally look forward to a workforce that demands to be treated to honour the delicateness they are. Demand creates supply, not the other way around, and we have been the willing recipients of a system that degrades us for far too long. Following this, we need the time and space within our workplaces with adequate workforce provisions to treat our patients with the delicateness they require as they go through the most vulnerable of times – with the care, precision and detail each person requires in order to heal.

How beautiful would that be?

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