Review: Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota
By the time Yumiko Kadota started her first year of Medicine in Sydney, Australia, she had lived in many countries across the globe, thanks to her father's job in banking. A brilliant young woman, she had won scholarships in the United Kingdom, and after moving to Australia, she had done well in her HSC. The future looked bright. She was brilliant, had a place in a her chosen course at uni and a goal of becoming a surgeon. Over the next thirteen years she would encounter all kinds of triumphs and multiple setbacks and stumbling blocks caused by a work culture that was underfunded, understaffed and utterly, utterly toxic. Sexism was rife, racism wasn't any better, and anyone eager to learn and improve seemed to be an easy target. On her twenty-fourth day straight of being on-call twenty-four hours, she suffered emotional burnout, and quit. Emotional Female is the story of what led Yumiko to that place, and what she did about it.
I'm not going to deny it. This is a tough, but ultimately compelling read. The sense of pressure and anxiety the author experienced shows deeply in her work. So too does her sheer resilience and determination to make things better. Ultimately though, there is something powerful about giving a voice to someone who has firsthand experience of working in a profession that seems determined to break and crush those who are brilliant and sensitive, and Emotional Female is a must read for that alone.