Grey's Anatomy: Doctor Mom
I was named chief resident. Plus . . . we decided to have a baby.
During the season finale of "Grey’s Anatomy," Dr. Callie Torres entered uncharted "Grey’s" territory, boldly attempting to seize a career triumph (being named chief resident) AND start a family (with her emotionally estranged new husband). With little reflection about the implications of taking on a new, high-pressured post while simultaneously having a baby, Torres would make the Leslie Bennetts and Linda Hirshmans of the world proud. She believes she’s poised to grab life with gusto and milk it for all it’s worth. She’s going to be a powerful career woman and a mom without relinquishing either dream. (Her love life is another story entirely.)
Then, on the flip side of the coin, there is the formerly butt-kicking Dr. Miranda Bailey, whom the interns used to fear. A new mom herself, Bailey also pursued the chief resident position by relentlessly clocking in countless hours at the Seattle Grace Hospital, starting a free clinic and knocking interns’ heads around when they needed it.
And yet. . .
The chief of surgery, Dr. Richard Webber -- who sacrificed his own marriage in order to succeed at his job and who many thought favored Bailey for the position – chose Torres. As Webber waded through the remains of his marriage, he repeatedly admonished the late-working Bailey, telling her that you can’t have a high-powered career and a family at the same time. Bailey’s character, however, saw it differently. With planning and with determination, Bailey believed, you can have both. She was determined to prove it.
And yet Bailey, who suffered the indignities earlier this season of having her professionalism questioned because she’d become a mother, was passed over for the position.
When paired with Dr. Addison Shepherd’s story (she has a thriving career but is now infertile because she postponed parenthood), is this a statement that it’s impossible for women to do both mommyhood and career? Or is this analysis simply directed at the medical field’s inhospitable atmosphere for professionals who want to have lives? Shonda Rhimes, "Grey’s" creator and writer, shed some light on this in the show’s blog, "Grey Matter:"