A call for a 50:50 quota for male and female medical students in Pakistan

Interesting. In Pakistan, as in the UK, 70% of medical students are women. The result is a very costly taxpayer-funded catastrophe in both countries, because female doctors typically work far fewer hours than their male colleagues over the course of their medical careers. After a long and very expensive taxpayer-funded training, female doctors are more likely to quit the profession at all points from graduation onwards, they’re less likely to work unsocial hours, less likely to work in stressful environments (e.g. A&E), more likely to work part-time, more likely to retire early…

As a poor country, Pakistan can ‘afford’ the problem of the feminization of the medical profession less than than the UK, so thoughts there are turning to what might be done about the problem. It’s about damned time British politicians had the courage to do some hard thinking in this area, it need hardly be said, with the NHS on its knees.

Extracts from the early part of the BBC article:

In Pakistan’s prestigious medical schools, female students outshine and outnumber their male counterparts. However, many do not end up as practising doctors – and now there are calls to limit their numbers, the BBC’s Amber Shamsi in Islamabad reports…

…government figures suggest most of these bright female undergraduate doctors do not actually go on to practise. Only 23% of registered doctors are female…

The vice-chancellor of the prestigious Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto medical university in Islamabad, Dr Javed Akram, says that girls are more focused on excelling academically than boys.

At the same time, he accepts that some female students are more keen on catching a husband than on pursuing a career.

“It’s much easier for girls to get married once they are doctors and many girls don’t really intend to work as professional doctors,” he says. “I know of hundreds of hundreds of female students who have qualified as a doctor or a dentist but they have never touched a patient.”

Privately, many doctors – both male and female – tell me that a medical degree is an extremely hot ticket in the marriage market…

Wherever we look, we see the same global pattern, as outlined Dr Catherine Hakim’s Preference Theory, in 2000. Far more men than women are work-centred – in the UK, by a ratio of 4:1. Denying this persistent reality leads to outcomes such as the relentlessly ineffective and inefficient NHS.

7 thoughts on “A call for a 50:50 quota for male and female medical students in Pakistan

  1. On the subject of Muslim culture – “Boys go out, hang out with their friends,” he says. “Girls can’t go out as much, so they stay at home and rote-learn.” . . . perhaps the success of women students is not so much their own hard work, it is embedded in the culture of keeping girls at home.’ This is what a real ‘Patriarchy’ looks like, all you cossetted western feminists.

  2. I suspect the meaning of “hot ticket” in this context is connected with Nafaqa and Mehrieh. These are respectively the living expenses which a Muslim man is obliged to pay his wife, and the sum of money which becomes payable to the ex-wife on divorce. These sums are negotiated prior to a marriage and depend upon the bride’s status….see the point?

  3. ‘ … female students outshine and outnumber their male counterparts.’

    I wonder if the relevant data actually supports the first of those claims. All things being equal, we can expect 70% of the top tier of medical graduates to be female, in which case, women’s achievements in that field cannot be said to be anything more than proportional. That is not ‘outshining’ male students. To outshine the men, the women must be over-represented in the top tiers. I’ll bet they’re not, particularly if all they want a medical degree for is a richer husband. Would any woman knock herself out to obtain a first class degree in a field in which she has no intention of pursuing a career?

    That aside, we don’t know what the entry criteria for women are. We do know, however, that ‘positive’ (i.e. permissible negative) discrimination in favour of increasing the numbers of women in high status, high pay jobs requires the rejection of better qualified male applicants, meaning that those men who do get through are likely generally to be better qualified and more able than the women, which makes the statement ‘girls are more focused on excelling academically than boys’ look a little silly.

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