The prestigious Hospital Woebegone has launched a successful new course for female physicians entitled Inception 101. Inspiration for the course came from the 2010 science fiction movie Inception. In the movie, a professional thief infiltrates the subconscious minds of his targets, embedding new thoughts for a price. As in the movie, the goal of the new course is to make targeted individuals believe that newly implanted ideas are their own.
According to Dr. Blakemore, the physician who developed the course, “Inception 101 provides women in male-dominated fields the strategies they need to be recognized for their success. Given the ongoing inequity in medicine, we had to become more creative in how we leveled the playing field. Using our patented methods, women are finally getting the recognition, awards, promotions, and compensation they deserve.”
While the details of the proprietary method are secret, the basics involve consistent positive reinforcement and messaging about female staff. The goal is to permanently implant these ideas into their colleague’s brains. Critics may argue these techniques are not founded in science, but it is difficult to dismiss the effects. Since the course began, the percentage of women earning as much as their male colleagues is greater than at all nearby hospitals. The number of awards and promotions are now nearly equal between the sexes. There has been less turnover of female staff since the course began.
The change has not been lost on the patients either. Patient satisfaction scores on recent Press Ganey reports have shown their highest customer experience ratings since the course was introduced. Turns out that happy staff translates to happy patients.
Not all employees are pleased with the new course. “It’s brainwashing!” complained Dr. Meathead, a male physician. He mansplained, “They’re pulling this Brave New World– type nonsense– playing recordings to us in our sleep. They send subliminal messages through tiny speakers that only the male ear can hear!” He dismissed the corrections that this is not at all how the process works, suddenly yelling, “Oh look! There’s an emergency!” cutting the interview short and briskly walking away.
According to the syllabus, the course teaches women to support their female colleagues by utilizing several specific interventions. Techniques include repeating what other women have said in meetings or on rounds to emphasize their points, interrupting men who interrupt women to redirect the attention back to the woman initially speaking, and teaching ways to address daily microaggressions, among other patented techniques.
Dr. Blakemore addressed critiques from her male colleagues saying, “Our goal is to help women be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. When our white cis male colleagues pointed out that we were being exclusive, we realized that we were -– just not to them. We now plan to expand our course to other traditionally marginalized groups. These include the BIPOC and LGBTQA communities.”
Other professional organizations are taking notice as well. Nearby law and business schools plan to develop their own versions of Inception 101. When a female law professor expressed concern about potential pushback from the male-dominated administrators, a leaked email from Dr. Blakemore revealed the following assurance: “Don’t worry, you’ll be able to convince them. There was initially a lot of resistance in the hospital too. You know the first place we employed our inception techniques? On our administrators! Trust us, your course will be approved in no time.”
Dr. Stephanie Benjamin is an emergency medicine physician and award-winning author based in Southern California. She took up journaling in kindergarten and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her first book, Love, Sanity, or Medical School, is now available on Amazon. You can find more of her writing at www.StephBenjaminMD.com. Reach out to her at StephBenjaminMD@gmail.com, and follow her on social media @StephBenjaminMD.
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