‘Lift your neighbor:’ Florida doctor discusses women’s impact in the operating room

Dr. Claudia Mason works with Cleveland Clinic Florida

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski) (Mark Zaleski, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – In a time where women became nurses and men became doctors, Dr. Claudia Mason began her career as a gynecologist.

“I was going against the current at the time, but the swimming got easier as time went on,” Mason said.

In the last 15 years, Mason said not only has she has seen a lot of more women in the medical field, but it’s become predominately female. Nationwide, nearly 70% of all healthcare workers are women.

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“We now have all women surgical teams, not a man in the room,” she said. “It’s much easier than it used to be and that’s to the credit of all the other women that do that work.”

With her primary focus being in gynecology, Mason has dedicated herself to making sure all women get the care they need, so they can take care of themselves and those around them.

“First, you apply the oxygen mask yourself, then you assist others,” Mason said. “Women are the primary caregivers in society at a large, it is incredible important that they are taking care of themselves and that there’s a whole discipline of medicine that serves them to make sure that women are health and able to do all of the responsibilities and obligations that they take on.”

According to Mason, the best way for women to take care of their health and the health of future generations is to show up to their annual exams, and learn.

“Doctor mom [is] the one that takes care of everybody in the family with what knowledge she has. Women will learn at their visits because they are the caretakers and the entryway for their families into healthcare,” she said.

Mason has also dedicated time to global health work, focusing on women’s health across the country. She says there are major health disparities for women around the world.

“There are still a quarter of a million women dying in the world today of cervical cancer, a completely preventable illness and death. That’s unacceptable,” she said.

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Mason says the most important thing women can do is lift each other up.

“I am aided by many many other women inside of the clinic, who are each bringing forth and raising up other women,” she said, “Lift, lift up your neighbor.”

About the Author:

Penny De La Cruz started working at WKMG-TV in September 2021. Before joining News 6, Penny worked at KSAT 12 in San Antonio, Texas.