Our thanks to Jeff for this. What starts out as an intelligent and promising article descends into offensive sexist comments about the relative impacts of men and women on workplaces, and ends with this:
Medicine should be seen as a vocation, and with this comes the harsh reality that your patients have to be your priority.
It’s not sexist to point this out, and I don’t think this is a reason for fewer women to go into medicine. But it is a reason to think hard about the way we work.
I know some women doctors who have decided their choice of career simply precludes motherhood. Others, quite reasonably, think that’s too extreme — and make it practical by renegotiating roles at home.
After all, if you’re a female brain surgeon and your husband works in marketing, why should you be the one who has to give up when a baby arrives? Surely, when men have less important jobs, they should take on the childcare.
Flexible thinking — by both individuals and the NHS as a whole — is the only way forward. Otherwise, the welcome feminisation of our health service will simply cause greater and greater problems.
So that’s what we need. Not fewer female doctors and more male doctors, but ‘flexible thinking’. Well, that’s going to make legions of female doctors switch from part-time to full-time working, isn’t it? Give me strength.