More female doctors on the way

Women doctors could outnumber their male counterparts by 2017.

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Women doctors could outnumber men within a decade, leading to shortages as women opt to go part-time, a new study by the Royal College of Physician has found.

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The Telegraph reports that the study shows more than half of medical students starting their studies are female, and certain areas of medicine could have more women than men in them. Women are more inclined towards specialties with working hours that can be planned and to work part-time. This would result in less ‘female-friendly’ areas of medicine seeing shortages.

Currently, 40% of doctors are female. Women make up 42% of GPs and 28% of consultants. But by 2013, the majority of GPs will be female. And some time after 2017, the majority of the medical workforce will be, too.

The report has said, “Across the NHS, 43% of all women doctors are under the age of 35, so many will not yet have started families.”

Professor Jane Dacre, from the working group that produced the report, has commented, “This research has shown that women doctors will soon be in the majority and are now reaching consultant status in greater numbers. It is likely to lead to an increase in part time working. Also, women on average make different specialty choices from men.

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“Understanding now that women doctors tend to favour more flexible working patterns and certain specialties will enable the Government and NHS to secure and maintain the high standard of UK doctors.”

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