Too few women consultants!

And here we were, thinking that the medical profession had at least some connection to science, perhaps even statistics:

The NHS faces a chronic shortage of women in senior positions as female medical staff hit a glass ceiling, doctors\’ leaders are warning.

Fewer than 30% of consultant posts in the health service are held by women, even though two-thirds of doctors entering the profession are female.

Cretins.

In a career where it takes 30 years to rise to the top the proportion of women entering the profession now is entirely unrelated to the proportion of women at the top of it now.

The important number is the proportion of women who entered the profession 30 years ago: that will give you the only useful number to compare with the proportion of that cohort who are now at the top of the profession.

Female doctors also earn, in general, 18% less than male doctors.

Yup, because many more female doctors work part time than do male doctors.

4 thoughts on “Too few women consultants!”

  1. The number we should be concerned with is the number of women who desire to be consultants so much that they will be prepared to sacrifice personal life, family and friends in order to dedicate themselves to climbing the greasy pole.

  2. The ONLY number we should be concerned with is whether we have enough consultants, total.

    By their argument if our target is 100 consultants and 99 are men topped up by one woman then the “NHS faces a chronic shortage of women in senior positions ” is a nonsense.

  3. Not to mention of course that different specialties have different mixes of people and change in relative demand over time.

    The whole cycle of feast and famine is driven by a command-and-control workforce planning model that tries to predict a decade or more ahead how many consultants are needed in which specialty.

    Whole new specialities can emerge over that period of time.

  4. “The number we should be concerned with is the number of women who desire to be consultants so much that they will be prepared to sacrifice personal life, family and friends in order to dedicate themselves to climbing the greasy pole.”

    Exactly. It’s not so much a time lag in the workforce as Tim suggests, it’s that most women don’t want to be consultants (at least not in General Medicine). And the areas that put the most call on your time, surgery and emergency medicine, have the fewest women – what a surprise! Most women would prefer to be GPs, because they have a healthy work-life balance.

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