Art by Ameana Khan (HLA Scholar 2020-21 and Anaesthetic Registrar)
Background: I am Jewish and was born in the UK to parents who are first generation British. Both my parents were born in the UK but each of both of their parents came from countries where the Jewish population was all but annihilated by the Nazis. My maternal grandparents were both the sole survivors from 8 siblings each. Both families came to the UK to escape the effects of Nazi Germany and arrived in the 1930s.
Education: St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London School of Medicine
Profession: Doctor ( Consultant in Oncology at The Royal Marsden)
Challenges: I’ve faced in my career have been to do with requirements of Jewish life and balancing them against work. For example there are many festivals in September/ October each year and, although the days of the festival vary from year to year, the same days of the week are effected on any given year. This makes it very difficult to take annual leave for all of them as clinical commitments tend to run on a weekly rotating basis so repeated absence on a given day for 3 out of 6 weeks is challenging. It means I’ve missed many of the festival days with my family. In addition I keep to a kosher diet and kosher food is not usually available at work events such as conferences etc. and not being able to eat with others is somewhat excluding. Challenges as a mother would be the feeling of guilt of missing out either at work or at home but when the balance is right it is an amazingly rewarding life.
Message: I would send to other women is to stand up for yourself and don’t discriminate against other women (or men!). We need to all look after one another in this work and try and reduce each others stresses.
About This Art Series:
Inspired by the poster “We Can Do It” aka “Rosie the Riveter”, who has served as a powerful symbol to many women and has motivated and provided strength to many individuals throughout society. Ameana has created a series of work (which is on going) to celebrate the many strong women within out NHS workforce.
The NHS workforce is made up of a diverse community, however, like many organisation there are also some inequalities that are embedded within the NHS. In order to gain insight into the thoughts of other NHS workers, Ameana has requested her colleagues to be her muses and tell the story of their background and the challenges they have faced as women and as being a part of the ethnic minority. In her series of art pieces, she has used an urban style to-accentuate the powerful role the women play as NHS workers. She has written strong women in English as well as their native language.