Editorials

The five years after qualification

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6968.1524 (Published 10 December 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1524
  1. Jenny Firth-Cozens

    The psychopathology of hospital life is keeping women doctors away

    The week that saw a coroner request the urgent examination of junior doctors' working conditions (p 1530)1 also saw the publication of Doctors and Their Careers: A New Generation (p 1529).2 3 The latest report in series of interviews with doctors, it confirms that their unhappiness is as great as ever. An earlier report considered three cohorts of men and women who had graduated in 1966, 1971, and 1981.4 In the present study 124 female and 105 male graduates from 1986 were interviewed; most of the comparisons are with the graduates of five years before. The author's aim was to focus on “changes or trends in the activity or participation rates of women doctors,” but her book relates to both women and men (as did her previous one).

    Allen's starting point is that half of medical graduates are now female but that the proportion of women falls with the seniority of rank: in 1993, 17% of consultants and 26% of principals in general practice were women. Although the trend is up, the NHS Executive's goal of women making up 20% of female consultants by the end of this year is unlikely to be met.5 In certain specialties the picture is gloomier, with women making up 4% of consultants in surgery, 11% in accident and emergency, and 15% in obstetrics and gynaecology. In Allen's latest cohort less …

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