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Medical Practice

Glasgow Women Medical Students: Some Facts and Figures

Br Med J 1971; 2 doi: (Published 24 April 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;2:216
  1. Morag C. Timbury,
  2. G. C. Timbury


    A questionaire was sent to 343 women medical undergraduates at the University of Glasgow, and 317 replied. Of the respondents, 36% had a member of their family in medicine and 15% had either one or both parents a doctor: 45% had a working mother. Half of all the students had doubts about medicine as a career, and the proportion of these rose with seniority. Doubts were mainly due to the length of the medical course but the girls also recognized the difficulty of combining a medical career with family life. There was a significant correlation between having doubts about a medical career and having a mother who worked.

    Half the girls said they would prefer to work in hospital after qualification—the favourite specialties being paediatrics and obstetrics; only a quarter said they would like to do general practice. The need for careers advice which links actual career openings and the wish of most women to combine medical work with marriage and child-rearing is emphasized. The majority of the students saw a doctor's primary role as the giving of advice and reassurance.

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