Title: Emotional Female

Author: Yumiko Kadota

Published: March 2021

Genres: Memoir, Health & Wellness, Medicine




Yumiko Kadota was every Asian parent's dream- model student, top of her class in medical school and on track to becoming a surgeon. A self-confessed workaholic, she regularly put 'knife before life', knowing it was all going to be worth it because it would lead to her longed-for career.

But if the punishing hours in surgery weren't hard enough, she also faced challenges as a young female surgeon navigating a male-dominated specialty. She was regularly left to carry out complex procedures without senior surgeons' oversight; she was called all sorts of things, from 'emotional' to 'too confident'; and she was expected to work a relentless on-call roster - sometimes seventy hours a week or more - to prove herself.

Eventually it was too much and Yumiko quit. Emotional Female is her account of what it was like to train in the Australian public hospital system, and what made her walk away.

Yumiko Kadota is a voice for her generation when it comes to burnout and finding the resilience to rebuild after suffering a physical, emotional and existential breakdown. This is a brave, honest and unflinching work from a major new talent.


NICKY'S REVIEW  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It was so refreshing to read such an unfiltered account of @mindbodymiko’s story, and it was told with so much admirable bravery. Following her journey from an aspiration to become a surgeon, the struggles in navigating how to get there and ultimately the hindrances she faced through no fault of her own was equally as frustrating as it was inspiring. Whilst this memoir is based on her role within the medical sector, and Australian Public Health System, and therefore not so relatable to me in parts, I also believe that sadly these issues do not discriminate to a particular profession. What I adored the most, was how she wholeheartedly preached that it is “okay” to let go, to graciously leave what is making you miserable in your chosen career, and pave your own way through the aftermath to build something new.



TAY'S REVIEW  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

HALLELUJAH! A book stating all relevant trigger warnings at the start! I was comforted to see Kadota didn’t let it slip by, especially given the myriad of potentially distressing topics she covers; from sexual harassment to self-harm. Through disarming honesty, she retells (more so factually than reflectively) her experiences of toxic work culture, enduring cruel acts of misogyny and racism as a trade-off for her career, and the mental and physical repercussions of overwork. As women, we are all too familiar with being labelled “too emotional” or “hysterical”. It is Kadota’s exploration of this expression that reminds us to take pride in our empathy and compassion; that the “flaw”, the “defect”, belongs not to us, but to the emotionless. A very insightful and brave memoir from @mindbodymiko, that I zealously recommend irrespective of gender.




Thank you to Penguin Books Australia and Yumiko for sending us an advanced review copy of this book.

You can find more information about the book and purchase a copy here.

RRP: $29.99



"When I’m in the company of an emotionally intelligent woman, it allows me to be unapologetically myself and it reminds me that being emotional is a wonderful thing.”



Click here to read the Q&A we had the pleasure of hosting with Yumiko Kadota!



About Yumiko Kadota

The original blog post Yumiko wrote that sparked media attention
'The ugly side of becoming a surgeon' 

Canberra Times article
‘In Emotional Female, Yumiko Kadota shares her journey as a young doctor, and what made her walk away’. 

Shameless Podcast Interview
In Conversation with Yumiko Kadota

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