Dr Rebecca Taylor-Smith: Lost in the ether: missing perspectives within anaesthesia | Association of Anaesthetists

Dr Rebecca Taylor-Smith: Lost in the ether: missing perspectives within anaesthesia

Dr Rebecca Taylor-Smith: Lost in the ether: missing perspectives within anaesthesia

Dr Rebecca Taylor-Smith is a registrar anaesthetist in training in the West Midlands. She is currently taking a break from training to work with the Chief Sustainability Officer for NHS England, but will return to clinical practice in September 2022. Dr Taylor-Smith identifies as a lesbian. She does not feel she had suffered any direct overt discrimination but she has at times felt uncomfortable and powerless to challenge comments about patients who are gay or transgender. She feels that others look to her to tackle it. As a woman working in medicine, she has frequently been given unsolicited advice about career choices in relation to having children.

Listen to the audio recording or read the transcription of the interview.


Time code (approximately)
Point of interest
Dr Taylor-Smith talks about growing up in West Wales, her family, parents' careers.
Becoming aware of her sexual identity as a teenager, initially identifying as bisexual.
Becoming interested in a medical career.
Experience of medical school at Birmingham University (2006-2011).
Feelings about being open about her sexuality in medical school, "I just wanted to be open, keep things simple and deal with things as they come up. Which worked for me.”
Other peoples' assumptions that all women want to have children, "I think we could definitely have more creative conversations that don't centre around the fact that most women will have children and all we must be thinking about is when and how we're going to do that.”
00:14:48 Her decision to go into anaesthesia.
The effect of working hours and unpredictable work pattern on her social and family life.
Being open about her sexual identity in her current role.
Experiences of discrimination and of challenging homophobic behaviour.
Wearing the NHS Rainbow Badge.
The benefits that LGBTQ+ staff bring to a team, "Bringing lots and lots of different viewpoints and experiences into a team only helps to enrich it further.”
Her role model.
Women in leadership roles in medicine.
The aspects of her career that she enjoys the most, "I think it's people.”
Highlights of her career so far.
Low points, the junior doctor strikes of 2016.
Positive changes for the LGBTQ+ community in the field of medicine.
Lower health outcomes in the LGBT+ community, Pride in Practice.
Advice for young people aiming for a career in medicine.
Advice for young people in the LGBTQ community who are interested in a career in anaesthesia, "You can definitely find a home in anaesthetics.”