Women in general practice | Acceptable roles?: Aaliya Goyal

Jun 07, 10:14 AM

Dr Aaliya Goyal reflects on how cultural expectations for South Asian women have impacted on her career.

Acceptable roles?

Image credit: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 1889 

So my journey into general practice may seem a little bit unusual compared to most GPs, but I do think it’s got a lot of common themes with some of the experiences of other South Asian heritage women trying to balance their cultural and religious identities with a professional identity. So although I completed my degree and everything without any concerns, I did kind of grow up with a cultural expectation to be married by a certain age and an understanding that I’d have the main caring responsibility for children. And it can often be the case that South Asian women have career disruption, but because of these and other things, I had a much longer interruption than most, and left the NHS for about 15 years. The community kind of shamed me for wanting to go back to work and it’s quite an internal conflict that I find a lot of women in my position have. It’s kind of a disconnect really between the patriarchal view that women shouldn’t be working and yet females should be seen by a female doctor. 
Twitter @Aaliya_UK 
Instagram: @draaliyagp 

Please note that the views expressed in these recordings are those of the interviewees, within their historical context, and may not represent RCGP views or policy.

If you want to hear more, you can listen to the full TeamGP Perspectives podcast about Being a South Asian doctor