Well, OK, and yet but……

An “old boys network” persists in the surgical profession with women more likely to be passed over for promotion or quit altogether, a study has shown.

Analysis of more than 3,000 junior surgeons in the NHS in England found that in 2010, 57 per cent of junior surgeons were men.

A decade on, this had increased to 63 per cent, as more women than men had dropped out of the career structure according to the research, which was presented at the British Academy of Management’s online annual conference.

The proportion of men who had been promoted to consultant was 53.6 per cent, and for women it was 36.5 per cent, the data showed.

The counterpart to this, that GPs are overwhelmingly female these days, isn’t being discussed alongside this.

At which point we might want to discuss whether there’s something about the career structures that appeals to one or t’distaff side.

GP training is 10 years. 5 year medicine degree, 2 year foundation course, 3 GP training. Then out into the wilds as an actual GP. Age 28 and that’s the peak, it flatlines from there.

Take the typical female – professional – life curve, kiddies in mid-30s. So, training, 5 to 10 years full time work, couple or three of 2 year breaks for maternity, decade of half time working.

Now compare with surgery and the climb to consultant. Those childbearing and rearing years can’t be taken as time out nor half time. Well, people try to insist that they can – I’ve seen that insistence – but consultant requires 7 years in that third stage. And that’s just to get onto the waiting list to possibly become a consultant.

It’s also not a job where years out nor half time greatly aids in career progression.

So, we’re surprised at the female problem here, are we? Just as surprised as we are at the female preponderance in GPs? And if we’re not equally surprised at each why not?

12 thoughts on “Well, OK, and yet but……”

  1. It never ceases to amaze me that the feminists accuse the NHs of being sexist when it is staffed disproportionately by women to a massive degree, something approaching 80% I think. Not only that, but its entirely owned and run by the State they love, and seem unable to draw the obvious conclusions that if the State is all knowing and wise then it can’t to be sexist, or that if it is sexist then its not all knowing and wise and should be removed from positions of control over peoples lives…….

  2. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    There is also a huge risk imbalance. You have to try rather hard to fail as a GP. In hospital medicine, sexy disciplines especially, completely different. There are rather a lot of qualified gynaecologists and radiologists working for pharma and management consultancies.

  3. BiNK,

    “There is also a huge risk imbalance. You have to try rather hard to fail as a GP. ”

    – misdiagnose someone and give them the wrong drug? You probably won’t do any harm
    – repeatedly fail to diagnose a problem? You won’t get fired
    – can’t figure out a problem? Refer it to a specialist

    If GPs were in an unregulated they’d be earning about the same as pharmacists. I don’t believe for a second that these people need 5 years of training for what they do, and that we need to filter down to the elite of society with 3 A levels for what I could write up into a dozen flowcharts.

    Much of what they do is a waste of time and money. Got a growth on your bollocks? They don’t know. They’ll refer you to the bollocks unit at the hospital. So, why not just have people go to the bollocks unit in the first place? Shut down the GP surgeries and have more specialists.

  4. Ex surgeon here. In my intake year of basic surgical training there were more women than men. They flirted & in some cases slept their way into research posts / placements. Then when faced with doing the work needed, went off to have a family and never returned.

    It still amazes me the shit they pulled for advancement and their refusal to do the work when the time came.

  5. “Got a growth on your bollocks? They don’t know. They’ll refer you to the bollocks unit at the hospital.”
    Lol!

  6. Ex surgeon here. In my intake year of basic surgical training there were more women than men. They flirted & in some cases slept their way into research posts / placements. Then when faced with doing the work needed, went off to have a family and never returned. It still amazes me the shit they pulled for advancement and their refusal to do the work when the time came.

    It comes down to the whole credentialism thing. They think that just because they are “Dr.” Whatchamakallit rather than just plain Miss, Ms or Mrs Whatchamakallit they have a higher social standing (possibly true, certainly among other women) and can attract a better class of marriage partner (rarely true). Males are more interested in bra size, height-to-weight ratio and absence of red flags than what the missus does for a living. In fact a good looking girl in a coffee shop is often far less baggage than some stuck-up GP.

    TL/DR – When it comes to credentials versus work, many women want the credentials and status without having to do the actual work.

  7. Bloke in North Korea (Germany Province)

    Mr Galt,

    Rightpondian surgeons are indeed plain old Mr. or Ms. Must be the odd Mx. by now too.

  8. Rightpondian surgeons are indeed plain old Mr. or Ms. Must be the odd Mx. by now too.

    Maybe, but even if that were the case, like vegans and CrossFit obsessives, you can be sure she will mention it within 30 seconds of meeting you “…I’m a surgeon at St. Cakes Hospital for indigent gentlefolk”.

    Tell me I’m wrong…

  9. Never seen an Mx. surgeon.

    Only a matter of time though!

    The ‘appearance thing is correct in the hypercompetative world of female Doctors. I dress casually and look like a potato, you would be surprised by the looks I get from these women when they work out who I am.

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