Not good but OK, it’s a fact we have to deal with

Female doctors going through the menopause are reducing their hours, moving to lower-paid roles or retiring early from medicine due to sexism and ageism in surgeries and hospitals, research has found.

This is going to cause problems:

The findings will concern the nine out of 10 hospital bosses in England who fear understaffing across the service has become so severe that patients’ health could be damaged: there are currently more than 30,000 female doctors aged 45-55, when menopause typically occurs. This number will rise significantly as the new cohort of medical students progress, almost 60% of whom are female.

So our all seeing, all knowing, perfect planner that is the state is increasing the numbers of doctors being trained then, is it? To take care of this known problem, just as it did with greater part time working and career breaks among the increasingly female workforce?

Like it did ‘eck.

As ever the best argument against state planning is the planning the state has donoe.

26 thoughts on “Not good but OK, it’s a fact we have to deal with”

  1. “Female doctors going through the menopause are reducing their hours, moving to lower-paid roles or retiring early from medicine due to sexism and ageism in surgeries and hospitals, research has found.”

    That’ll be the 77% female dominated NHS doing all that ageism and sexism then?

    When I go to my GP surgery I hardly ever see a man, I think one of the GPs is male, everyone else is female, GPs, nurses and support staff. There’s probably an IT bloke somewhere and a chap who fixes stuff when it breaks, so I guess its their sexist attitudes that’s making middle aged female GPs retire early.

    Or could it be that by the time you’ve got to 50 on a GP salary you’ll already have generated a decent pension entitlement, and its a lot easier just to go part time, take a lesser paid role, or give up entirely (and live on your husbands salary) than work until you’re 67?

  2. A couple of things also stand out – the article says they’re retiring because of sexism, but the only evidence it cites is that the ladies aren’t comfortable discussing menopause. So, their discomfort is proof of somebody else’s ism?

    It also notes that if the ladies retire early this helps fuel the “wage gap” – how about that, people freely making decisions about how to live their lives results in differences! Of course, the State must do something about that.

  3. This paragraph is really worrying on many levels:
    “Almost half said they had wanted to discuss their symptoms and seek support but did not feel comfortable doing so. A significant number said they would be “laughed at or ridiculed” by both managers and peers if they spoke about the menopause. Only 16% of respondents had discussed their menopause symptoms with their manager.”

    I’d assume that manager in the majority of cases is another doctor, if as doctors they don’t feel comfortable talking about medical issues with another doctor that should be ringing alarm bells about something – perhaps the professionalism of doctors, or the degree of the issue. What would be interesting is of those 16% what the actual response was – how much is this a case of worrying about nothing and how much it is justified. Or how much leaving during menopause has been included in a more complex decision containing a host of other reasons to leave at that stage.

    I am sure there is ageism and sexism but are doctors (highly trained intelligent people with expert knowledge in the physiological impacts of age and gender) still so bad, or are people projecting perhaps what attitudes were like when they started 30+ years ago?

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    I remember being told that menstruation and menopause were a natural part of life – and in no way a medical ailment, deficiency or disability. Turns out they are. Who would have guessed?

    This is why I think there are so few female CEOs. They reach the age to make the leap to senior management and then the hot flushes start and before you know it they are telling everyone else on the Board they are sexist scum who deserve to die.

  5. “due to sexism and ageism in surgeries and hospitals”

    So, is this also happening with nurses?

    *crickets*

    No, thought not.

    The real reason is that they’re fucking loaded. Often married to male doctors. Kids moving on etc. Costs falling. Mortgage paid off. Plenty sat in the pension and savings. Why bother working more?

    And yeah, huge problem because we limit the number of training places and waste a lot of money training people

  6. One thing that still sticks in my mind from an undergraduate economics tutorial: “Government manpower planning always fails”.

    The topic, I think, was the perpetual shortage of physics teachers. The consensus of the tutorial group was “Well pay them more then.”

    Different days in the unis, eh?

  7. NHS made a rod for OUR back by training too many females.

    Tho’ empty hospitals don’t need to worry about understaffing.

  8. Dennis, A Vast Reservior of Toxic Masculinity

    Shouldn’t it read something akin to this?

    “Women and other people with a uterus that isn’t of reproductive age are reducing their hours, moving to lower-paid roles or retiring early from medicine due to sexism and ageism in surgeries and hospitals, research has found.”

  9. It’s not just “Women and other people with a uterus that isn’t of reproductive age” who hesitate to see a doctor. Doctors do too. Because they know what doctors are like.

  10. “Almost half [the MEDICAL DOCTORS] said they had wanted to discuss their symptoms and seek support but did not feel comfortable doing so.”

    Hmmm, let’s try this with another profession: “Auto mechanics are embarrassed to address the ‘check engine light’ on their personal vehicles and therefore prefer early retirement.”

    If we survive and thrive as a species future generations will scoff at our civilization-destroying inability to tell each other “tough sh!t”.

  11. ‘… due to sexism and ageism in surgeries and hospitals, research has found.‘

    Not then the physical and emotional symptoms, severe in some women which make normal life very difficult for several years, and in some cases make working or living with such women a nightmare?

  12. So, a three-quarters majority of the NHS is female, and female doctors feel uncomfortable talking to colleagues about the menopause due to sexism.
    Err, how many female sexes are there?

  13. Sat down with my wife’s pension statements and worked it out that the best time for her, a nurse, to retire is around 58. By retire she means collect her pension and work casual part-time, the extra 7 years working until 65 against the increase in projected pension payments isn’t worth it when considered against an easier life for a few years. Had we made some different choices in life I reckon 55 would have been possible for take pension and work part-time. Given what doctors earn vs nurses I’d say many of them come to the same conclusion that they are better off with taking an early pension and working part-time than slogging away until 65

  14. Also from talking to friends divorce and second marriage (esp. having kids in later years) are among the biggest issues for a lot of people when looking at the age of retirement these days.

  15. It’s not really Gov limiting places to study medicine, plenty of furiners here, it’s GMC limiting places for UKers

    Pass med exams/training and then apply to GMC for permit

    Dentistry same with GDC

  16. Pcar

    NHS Health Education funds the places at medical schools and so controls the number of doctors qualifying each year. The GMC has little influence on numbers: its concern is professional standards and discipline.

  17. Pcar,

    I want pretty much an open market. Take some basic exams around not killing people with medicines and you can become a doctor. No more effort than getting CORGI registered or an HGV license. Markets, brands, all of that. Aldi Doctors, Hilton Doctors, Specsavers Doctors, McDoctors. Let them hire and fire who they want and the ones renowned for service, speed of diagnosis and safety win.

    Within 5 years people would wonder why we ever had a system that hired a bunch of good rote learners and had them managed by omnishambles management.

  18. “Female doctors going through the menopause are reducing their hours, moving to lower-paid roles or retiring early from medicine due to sexism and ageism in surgeries and hospitals, research has found.”

    This is not a coherent statement.

  19. Pension ceilings yes, but also – male and female – ever increasing levels of bureaucracy and regulation. As we know, the whole thing is broken. Any (competent) medic will tell you that and frequently get suitably energised explaining why.

    And on Thursday evenings, the people bowed and prayed.

  20. «So our all seeing, all knowing, perfect planner that is the state»

    I was under the impression that we have had a hard-thatcherite government since 2010 running “the state” and the NHS, and a lite-thatcherite one before it, and hard-thatcherites before that, all aiming to stop the NHS from planning, and for it to rely on the market, for 40 years running.

    But of course Conservatives and New Labour have had no role in running the state and managing or hacking to pieces the NHS: in office yes, but only “the trots” have been in secret power for the past 40 years. 🙂

  21. Thatcherites! Once you re-work that bit, your comment actually makes good sense. As in – increased bureaucracy, regulation….

  22. «But of course Conservatives and New Labour have had no role in running the state and managing or hacking to pieces the NHS: in office yes, but only “the trots” have been in secret power for the past 40 years. :-)»

    The alternative explanation is that even if the Conservatives have been nominally in charge of the state and NHS for 27 of the past 40 years, including the most recent 10, and New Labour for the other 13 in between, Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May have been mere puppets of the ECJ, and it has been the ECJ that has forced them to turn England’s state into one more resembling the tyrannical yet useless governments of the rest of the EUSSR.

    Or perhaps both: the Conservatives and New Labour don’t “own” whatever is the state of the UK government and of the NHS, not even after 40 years, because only “the trots” in complicity with the ECJ have been in real power in the UK for all those decades. 🙂

  23. @Theo
    NHS Health Education may fund some places, but GMC sets numbers

    Gov & GMC started negotiation on increasing numbers in 2017 and Gov/taxpayer paid for new Med schools. Negotiations didn’t go well, more places for furiners

    @BoM4
    +1 We train them all to be surgeons, then many choose to be Docs – especially females

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