Making some difference: Women in Medicine
MetadataShow full item record
This paper reflects on what it means for the future of medicine, and for our society generally, that women now constitute almost fifty per cent of new graduates. In a mere three years from 1991 to 1994 the proportion of the active GP workforce that was female increased from 20% to almost 30% and if this trend continues it will soon be 50% (Britt et al 1996). The movement of women into the specialities has been less dramatic and more uneven but their impact is being felt even in the surgical areas. Surveys have consistently confirmed a shift of public opinion since the 1970s in favour of women doctors (Schlicht and Dunt, 1987) and the National Women's Health Policy statement of 1989 identified significant consumer preference for female service providers. Members of the medical establishment now publicly welcome women, as the 'human face' of medicine and the best hope of reclaiming some of medicine's lost public esteem. Policy makers talk about the 'right' to see a woman doctor. And governments have been concerned to increase the numbers in training programs especially in obstetrics and gynaecology where there is a huge demand. There is a belated realisation amongst medical workforce planners that the feminisation of medicine has implications for the future deployment of doctors.
© 1996 Griffith University