Tetyana Kelly is used to being mistaken for a nurse, and she knows she's not the only female doctor who has that experience.
The surgeon at Canberra Hospital says it's a daily occurrence for patients to make the mistake and is setting out to break the stereotype through her new children's book.
Dr Ouchy and Nurse Piggy is the first in a series of picture books Kelly hopes to write and publish. The book aims to challenge the idea that women are less likely to become a doctor or be in a position of leadership.
"Most female colleagues, surgeons as well as doctors, are looked through and a medical student who is male is probably thought to be a doctor as the first line of contact," Kelly says.
"That's why I thought let's change the stereotypes of this male-dominated profession, medicine and surgery especially. And the main character obviously is a female with a white, clean lab coat and clean red stilettos."
Kelly has spent the past decade or so wanting to write a children's book but it's only in the past few years that she set out to write Dr Ouchy and Nurse Piggy: Baby Shark's Troublesome Tooth Fiasco, with illustrations done by Central Coast artist Cat Soper.
The picture book follows Dr Ouchy, who lives in a magical forest overlooking the ocean. With the help of her neighbour Nurse Piggy, she sets out to help Baby Shark, who has a painful tooth.
For those thinking that the character name Baby Shark might sound a little familiar, you would be correct.
Kelly looked to her children for inspiration for some of the book's characters, and one of the biggest things in their lives at the moment is the children's song Baby Shark.
Peppa Pig is also one of her daughter's favourite characters, which influence the creation of Nurse Piggy.
There's a chance other childhood favourites may appear in coming books as well.
"There is already another book written. It's probably in its early generation, but I'm hoping that this will be a series of books because Dr Ouchy has a big bag full of goodies," Kelly says.
"The idea is that for each of the stories she'll get a new instrument and help to heal an animal with it."
Kelly has always been interested in medicine, the human anatomy and how diseases are cured. She began with a nursing degree, before doing a postgraduate to become a doctor of medicine.
"I'm now working in surgery, where we see good outcomes especially in plastic surgery," Kelly says.
"We deal with a lot of trauma, we deal with a lot of cancer operation. We see good positive outcomes every day and that's what drives me to keep going and hopefully get into plastics training one day. We have a really good unit here at The Canberra Hospital and I'm hoping that this is a stepping stone to bigger better plans for the future.
"I'm a plastics registrar at the moment and I'm hoping to become a plastics consultant one day, so that involves training. Training takes five years, and getting on the training takes some time too. So I'm hoping that this process will happen in the next few years."
- Dr Ouchy and Nurse Piggy is available on Amazon.
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