Flexible training for men and women—is this the way forward for medicine?

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 17 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1211
  1. Christopher Schofield, specialist registrar in general adult psychiatry (,
  2. Zena Schofield, senior house officer in psychiatry
  1. Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham
  2. St Francis Unit, City Hospital, Nottingham

    Historically, medicine in the United Kingdom has been a male dominated profession,but female medical graduates now outnumber male graduates (BMJ 2005;331: 569-72). Many women will go on to have children, and a concern is how this will affect the profession. We are a married couple with two young children and have spent much time considering this issue. The importance of achieving a work-life balance is increasingly recognised in all areas of society. Calls are made for more flexibility in the workforce; and in the Improving Working Lives Standard the government has set an aim of improving flexibility at work in the NHS.

    In this debate the role of men has received little attention. In the traditional model of the family in the UK men worked full time and women raised the children full time, but the changing nature of the workforce over the years has meant that women now have much more responsibility to work as well as raise children, while the …

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