Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Working Women

Today Doctors.Net reported that according to a new study nearly two thirds of medical graduates are now women and most want flexible working arrangements. In fact 58% of doctors who graduated last year were women and a fifth of these expect to need part-time work during their careers. The study recruited some 435 graduates last year to take part in a ten year study of their career development and found that many were already showing signs of demoralisation.

These figures clearly show that work force planning will be necessary for the NHS. With current unemployment problems of the 'Modernising Medical Careers', it may be worth considering the impact of part time posts, perhaps there will need to be more doctors, not less.


Man in a Shed said...

Does it not also show that education has become biased against males and that urgent action is required ? Or is medicine naturally a female profession ?

QUASAR9 said...

Michelle, one thing is for sure we need more doctors not less.

But people earning £50,000 plus a year demoralised?
GPs & Consultants earning £80-120,000 a year demoralised

What hope for the 80% of society that doesn't earn anywhere near that in five years.

I don't think doctors need pampering they need a kick up the but, train more doctors and slow down the crazy rate of pay increases, befor the NHS really does become an unsustainable burden.

And privatisation is NEVER going to offer more opportunities for more doctors to earn more. Only the stupid or ignorant believe that

It just means those who can will charge those who can pay more, the rest will still expect the same money from the NHS - but there will never be enough doctors to treat the sick (who cannot pay).

But hell, what do I care.

The Shrink said...

I would argue (and could evidence, but it'd be tedious and verbose!) that private work does not deliver better patient care than NHS services, especially in mental health.

More female colleagues, and younger colleagues who don't have expectations that medicine will consume every waking hour, means the way doctors wish to work (and critically what they'll accept) is very different now from when I was a House Officer 14 years ago, working 6 days a week and 1 night in 2.

The change in what legislation, hospital Trusts and the new cohorts all see as acceptable is what's changing medic's job plans and career structure far more than gender alone, to my mind.

Much to Dr Crippen's displeasure, this will necessitate medics doing less direct patient contact but having a consultative role so patient care plans are still multidisciplinary, invariably with medical input.

For me, for every patient to either be seen by or be discussed with a Consultant is the minimum safe level of care I'd expect from Secondary/Tertiary Care services. In such an environment medics' time can be used more flexibly to accommodate New Ways of Working.

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks for those comments. I suspect the need for flexible hours will be for men and women, especially considering that the profession provides a 24 hour service. Tired doctors has never been safe, just as the current situation with tired pilots has raised concern.
Thanks man in a shed, quasar9 and the shrink.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense all round to hire competent staff trained with the latest skills, and staff are surely needed around the clock, I would imagine it could be possible to provide flexi hours for working mums.

Rachel Joyce said...

These part timers have allowed NuLabour to say they have more doctors. The fact is, there are more, but the whole time equivalent number is exactly the same - more Labour Spin.