Podcast Episode 27 – “Women in Medicine: Be a Superheroine, not a Sidekick” with Dr. Barbara Hamilton

Dr. Barbara Hamilton - Tired Superheroine

Episode 27 – Have you ever had the feeling that you “just don’t belong here”?  I think we all get caught with Imposter Syndrome at one time in our lives.  For women, this is especially common, especially in medicine.  Dr. Barbara Hamilton knows what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated specialty.  Blogging as the Tired Superheroine, she has been instrumental in empowering young generations of physicians to break barriers and plow right through obstacles so they can achieve the career success they deserve.

As a man in a male-dominated field, I have observed a lot of the same things that Dr. Hamilton discusses on the podcast episode.  She has amazing insights into what prevents people from seeking their dreams.  I love her message that anyone should be able to achieve anything they want in medicine.  As physicians, it’s up to us to empower other physicians to live their chosen calling.

Dr. Barbara Hamilton is an expert and motivating young physicians to overcome their struggles and reach for the stars.  She knows what it takes to go from sidekick to super heroine, and she’s here to tell us how it can still be done!  Don’t think that this episode isn’t for you!  Whether you’re a man, a woman, an early career physician, or nearing retirement, there’s something in this episode for everyone.


“It’s your decision what you do when your cape gets caught!”

 – Dr. Barbara Hamilton


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Listen to the episode and leave a review on Apple Podcasts


Meet Dr. Barbara Hamilton (creator of Tired Superheroine)!

barbara hamilton

Barbara Hamilton, MD is an interventional radiologist, physician leader, and toddler-mom who blogs at TiredSuperheroine.com.

She helps aspiring & early career doctors succeed in the surgically-oriented and traditionally male-dominated fields. She pulls back the curtain on what it looks like to be a woman and parent in medicine. Ultimately, she strives to be an example of what is possible for those who would follow in her footsteps.

Through her writing, speaking, and coaching, she aims to patch the leaky pipeline of women aspiring to the male-dominated fields, so more talented people of diverse backgrounds can join her as they transition into fulfilling, multifaceted lives as attending physicians.

Buy the book!

Barbara Hamilton, Tired SuperheroineHer upcoming book is called Save Lives, Enjoy Your Own.  Listeners will find value in her framework to find their place in medicine, or they may share it with their students/ mentees.

FREE BOOK: Sponsored (FREE) books for students & trainees: tiredsuperhero.com/join-the-launch




Free Resource: Application/Interview Tool Kit

This week’s featured blog post: How One Pharmacist Paid Off $100,000 in Student Loans and Other Debt in Just a Few Years

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Join the Business and Personal Finance for Physicians and Dentists Facebook Group!

Most physicians and dentists come out of training programs with a huge amount of personal debt and little to no idea of how to actually run a clinical practice.  This Facebook community is for anyone who wants to learn more about how to manage their business more successfully and master their personal finances.


Check out the Doctor Podcast Network!

Doctor Podcast Network

The Doctor Podcast Network is a group of physician and physician family podcasters with incredible messages to share with physicians.  I’m incredibly excited to be a founding member of the organization.  We are a large and growing network with incredible outreach.

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Click here and come check out the great podcasts that are a part of the network.  If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, we’d love to have you join us!  Help us reach out to physicians all over the world!


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Show times

  • 00:00 – Introduction to episode 27 of The Scope of Practice Podcast.
  • 01:39 – Subscribe to the podcast, and please leave a review!
  • 02:18 – Join the “Business and Personal Finance for Physicians and Dentists Facebook Group
  • 03:52 – Introduction to Dr. Barbara Hamilton
  • 05:03 – Welcome to Dr. Barbara Hamilton.  As an interventional radiologist, she gets to spend a lot of time working with innovative technology.  
  • 06:57 – Dr. Hamilton talks about how she became enthralled with interventional radiology.
  • 09:39 – Women make up more than 50% of medical school classes, but some of the medical specialties are still underrepresented.  Dr. Barbara Hamilton has some thoughts about that.
  • 11:19 – One obstacle for women entering interventional radiology is lack of mentorship and exposure.  
  • 12:05 – Dr. Hamilton describes the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon.  Many women enjoy being in fields where there are more women, but that’s not the case for everyone.
  • 12:41 – Occasionally, some people inadvertently may discourage women from going into certain fields.
  • 14:22 – There is often a significantly different experience between academic medicine and private practice.
  • 16:30 – Getting exposure to private practice settings while you’re in training is a great idea!  It’s definitely worth pursuing.  Search for mentors in your training program and in the national societies for your specialty.
  • 18:41 – Dr. Hamilton shares her experience sharing with her mentors that she wanted to go into IR.  
  • 20:23 – As an attending, you are in a position to do a lot of good in empowering your students and residents.  Show them that the doors are open to them.
  • 22:09 – Dr. Lacey shares his experience working with one of his most influential mentors.
  • 24:01 – Why are there fewer women in medicine in the older generations?
  • 28:02 – We should make it possible for everyone to make the choice that’s best for their family.
  • 29:03 – Be open-minded about what you want to do for your career.  Be open to being surprised.
  • 31:51 – When you’re in residency, don’t be so focused on your training that you neglect your future!  Do some research to figure out what you enjoy and how you want to practice.  Don’t wait until you’re an attending to figure out what you want to do as an attending.
  • 32:53 – Mentorship doesn’t have to be a complicated, formulaic thing.  Keep it casual.
  • 33:19 – Find your people!  Do you enjoy being around the people in your specialty?  You’re going to be spending a lot of time with these people, so you need to enjoy being around them!  Find people that you can get nerdy with!
  • 36:06 – Dr. Lacey shares his experience with finding his people.
  • 37:38 – How do you separate a negative experience at a particular location from a negative experience related to that specialty more broadly?
  • 40:07 – Nix the naysayer!  Start with yourself!  You can be your own worst critic.  Stop putting yourself down!
  • 41:36 – Dr. Hamilton shares some common misconceptions about male-dominated fields.  They don’t have to be incompatible with work/life balance or unhappiness.
  • 43:27 – Don’t decide to deliberately be miserable!
  • 45:31 – In one chapter of her book, Dr. Barbara Hamilton talks about the inevitability of failure.  That’s not a negative thing!  If you know failure is coming, you can anticipate it, learn from it, and grow through it!
  • 48:08 – Don’t let one failure be the reason you don’t help the next 10,000 people.
  • 49:34 – Connect to Dr. Barbara Hamilton and the Tired Superheroine blog.
  • 51:17- Summary of the episode.
  • 52:32 – This week’s free resource: Application and Interview Toolkit
  • 53:56 – signing off


Listen to the next episode

Physician leadership and non-clinical careers with Dr. John Jurica

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