A majority of GPs are women, and 70% of medical students are women. More than 50% of GPs are women, and the proportion is rising as general practice is an attractive option for female doctors wishing to work part time, whether or not they have children.
Barely a day goes by when I’m not reminded of Dr Catherine Hakim’s Preference Theory. Her research concluded that while four in seven British men are work-centred, only one in seven British women is. From leaving full-time education to retirement age, women are more likely than men to either not engage in paid employment, or to work part time.
The startling difference in gender-typical work ethics can be seen particularly clearly in the NHS, with its numerous crises, including the GP service. The start of a piece on trainee GPs in today’s Times:
Only one in ten trainee GPs wants to work full time, according to a survey that raises fresh fears of a shortage of doctors. The average family doctor-in-training wants to work three days a week, saying the job is too intense to do a full five days.
Waiting times are already lengthening and health chiefs fear that a national GP shortage will be worsened as younger adults [J4MB translation: younger women] shun the long-hours culture of previous generations. [J4MB translation: These women shun the long-hours culture – working hard to support a partner and children, usually – of generations of men, both current and previous.]
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