Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Head To Head

Are there too many female medical graduates? No

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39505.566701.94 (Published 03 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:749

Rapid Response:

Too many women in medicine?

Of course it is immaterial whether man or woman becomes a doctor. The work is surely the same and if either can do it adequately then the more the merrier. BUT when a girl absents herself from work on account of her sex, for whatever reason then she has become an unreliable asset.

WHEN she does not want to do night-calls or see, for example, syphilitic seamen and hands the cases over to her male colleagues then she is no longer part of the team. The ladies can't just pick and choose. The best of them do not.

What has become a problem is that so many students, both male and female, obtain their medical qualification and then do not practise medicine much, or at all. They sit in the back row and write articles from no or little experience.

At least they should experience some years in General Practice before they form any worthwhile opinion

Now if the ladies will study and take those prizes and qualify, then aim to work every year of their lives as the men seem to do, then the question does not arise that "too many girls" are qualifying.

It is when, it is supposed, that those girls only take up Medicine as a "meams to an end", to find a medical husband perhaps or one in a certain position in society, and then cease to practise, then it has all been a waste of time and perhaps public money. She ceases to be a doctor, and becomes just a title with a medical opinion with little or no experience of the practice of medicine

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 April 2008
GEORGE Y. CALDWELL
GENERAL PRACTITIONER
SINGAPORE 259858
31 BALMORAL PARK, #18-33