Feminism kills children

One of those little lessons about how everything is connected.

So, more women doctors, yup, great idea. Women doctors, like women in many/all walks of life, often take the decision to cut back on working hours when they have children. Yay for choice!

And, as you\’ll not be entirely surprised to hear, paediatrics is one of those specialties that tends to attract more women than men.

So:

Paediatrics is currently a popular specialism, particularly among female medics, but she said that meant many work reduced hours in their 30s as they juggled their careers with young families. More were opting out of working a five-day week than before, she explained.

As a result, consultants were increasingly having to cover the role traditionally performed by middle-grade doctors, taking on some front-line out-of-hours shifts.

The end result of this stretching the senior people to cover those exercising their just right to a work life balance?

Dr Hilary Cass, who took on the post last month, said the NHS did not compare well with other Western European countries when it came to children’s health. Child death rates in Britain were higher than in Germany, France, Italy and Sweden.

She said: “If you look at the overall picture, we are performing very poorly when it comes to child mortality.”

Dr Cass, a paediatric disability consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’s in London, continued: “We have about 1,500 excess deaths over and above what we would have if we matched the best performing country, Sweden.

“These are things that should be avertable with medical care – like meningitis, pneumonia and asthma,” she said.

Or, feminism kills children.

Or, if you prefer, the planners in a planned system (and yes, oh yes, the number of doctors of different grades and specialties is very much the outcome of a planned system) have failed to plan for the effects of those wholly desirable choices that feminism has led to society offering.

14 thoughts on “Feminism kills children”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Or, feminism kills children.

    For some of them it is a feature, not a bug.

    But it is interesting to see that a simple job of centrally planning doctor numbers has been beyond the grasp of the morons who rule us. God knows why anyone would think a totally centrally planned economy was sensible.

  2. Nothing to do with the diseases prevalent in the countries from which so many of our new mothers have recently arrived? Just all to be attributed to a shortage of quacks?

  3. Consultants are covering roles traditionally performed by junior doctors in all specialities, because junior doctors’ working hours have been reduced. Naturally enough, today’s senior consultants, who themselves worked very long hours during their training while the then consultants took it easy, tend to moan about this. And if you’re the President of a Royal College, you get to listen to a lot of senior consultants.

    I’m sceptical that this has got very much to do with the prevalence of women doctors. As Tim says, everything is connected, and the price of no longer reading horror stories about doctors asleep on their feet is that the training is less comprehensive and the senior guys have to work harder.

  4. Deariemie, it seems that those countries are also providing a great many of the doctors in the NHS, so one would think they’d be familiar with the diseases, at least…

  5. As you are very fond of telling us, Tim, correlation does not imply causation. There may be other reasons for the relatively high infant mortality.

    Why should paediatrics attract more women than men? Are you implying that women are intrinsically more interested in children’s health than men are? Strange assumption.

    Off topic, but I’m sure the responses will be fascinating – why does gynaecology attract male doctors? It’s dominated by men.

    Tim adds:”Why should paediatrics attract more women than men? Are you implying that women are intrinsically more interested in children’s health than men are? Strange assumption.”

    I do not argue that it *should*. I argue only that it *does*.

    Why you can make your own speculations about: but there is something of a gender split in medical specialties.

  6. It’s not an outrageous hypothesis – though hard to verify empirically – than women might be more drawn to working with children in the NHS for similar reasons to why primary school teaching is female-dominated (more so than secondary and FE). I doubt speculation about the exact reasons is likely to be productive (am sure there is an evolutionary psychology perspective but that’s a field I greatly distrust because its hypotheses are hard to falsify) but the observation that jobs working with children are disproportionately attractive to women seems reasonable.

  7. Dragging the conversation down …

    Off topic, but I’m sure the responses will be fascinating – why does gynaecology attract male doctors? It’s dominated by men.

    Because more men are attracted by female naughty bits than ladies are?

  8. Here‘s an RCP report on how the increasing proportion of female doctors is affecting medical practice in the UK.

    Young women have consistently been more likely than men to have an early preference for general practice, although the proportions of either sex having general practice as first choice has fallen since the early 1990s. Women have also been consistently more likely than men to express early preferences for obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and pathology.
    In successive surveys, higher percentages of males than females have consistently identified surgical specialties as their preferred career option from an early stage. As the number of women in successive cohorts has risen, the number of women with surgical specialties as their first preference has risen. But the relative gender difference has changed little.

    The table in this paper suggests that gynaecology has always been a more popular choice among female than male medical students, but it was only in the mid-eighties that rising numbers of female medical students caused female students opting for gynaecology to outnumber the men.

    So I suppose that gynaecology has in the past been dominated by male doctors, but that is changing so that except at the most senior levels most UK gynaecologists are now female.

    My impression is that the sex-specific considerations in medical career choices are the working hours, the proportion of working time spent talking to patients, and, in the case of orthopaedic surgery, the physical strength required. I am sceptical about SE’s speculation: I very much doubt that significant numbers of male doctors would specialise in gynaecology because they expect to get a frisson from examining vaginal warts.

  9. It is not feminism killing children – it is the effect of a handful of spin doctors who call themselves feminist. If women form the large majority of paedatricians and a majority (or even a large minority) of them take career breaks or work reduced hours in their thirties then Britain needs to train a larger number than it would if all medical students were males or nuns to cover the resultant gaps. We don’t send a 15-man squad on a Lions Tour because we expect some injuries so when training paedatricians we should allow for absence/short-time working.
    The problem arises because the spinners refuse to recognise this because it would tip the cost-benefit analysis in favour of training more male than female paedatricians – which is stupid because there aren’t enough males volunteering to be paedatricians (which is one of the causes of the shortage of paedatricians). Any honest cost-benefit analysis would show that female doctors cost more even if they don’t take career breaks/short-time working because they live longer, on average, post-retirement which makes this pretence even sillier.
    If we want paedatricians and most of the competent volunteers are female then we need to factor in career breaks to our formula for determining the number of medical school places. Denying this is the cause of the problem.

  10. It’s possible to imagine a world in which female paediatricians tend not to take career breaks when they have children, because the fathers take the time off instead.

  11. @PaulB
    It is possible to imagine the sky is green.
    In the real world, when it makes more sense for the couple, the father does take a career break instead.
    We are looking at the problem created in the real world by the lack of provision by the NHS for the career breaks/short-time working that highly intelligent, highly paid doctors have predictably chosen. It is rarely a question of economic pressure that causes the female paedatrician to take a career break/work short-time rather than her husband/partner, since her salary would be enough to provide a tolerable standard of living.

  12. I’m a medical student – and john77 and PaulB are right on. I was dreading doing O&G just because of the feminism thing, but there were several old consultants looking at nasty bits without any fuss – never even asked for permission to do anything, because that’s how they always did it, and a complaint now would not really affect anything. The younger female doctors of course made every effort to stop the male students like myself from seeing anything, which is stupid because if I need to deliver a baby on a plane one day, I’ll just have to go on the 2 births I saw while the girls did 10 or more. However, the funny thing was that when it came to paediatrics, the discrimiation was even worse and there were no male doctors at all, so I barely got to learn anything despite the parents being quite cooperative!

  13. Perhaps instead of trying to get more doctors to heal more fragile children you just increased productivity.
    This a la 50s when you could afford to lose a few because there were so many.
    – can’t be done? Wrong?
    Well prepare to make way for the ethnics who will do this while you all become part of history.

  14. Jack

    I did wonder about discrimination as a possible explanation for the prevalence of women in paediatrics – so I’m not entirely surprised by what you’ve said. Rather similar to the reason why primary school teaching is dominated by women (with similar problems of short-time working and career breaks disrupting children’s education). Any man who wants to be a primary school teacher these days is immediately suspected of closet paedophilia – especially if he wants to teach reception. Hardly surprising there aren’t many men volunteering to do it.

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