Being a doctor: is this a job for women?
Nowadays medical degrees, in Italy as in other Countries, are mostly carried out by women. As a matter of fact, in Europe, more than half of white coats under 35 years are women. According to a study in thirty Countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, women under 35 represent 58% of doctors in the UK, 60% in France and almost 63% in Spain. Italy holds the record, with a percentage higher than 65%. In the UK, female doctors have recently become the majority accounting for 51%, whereas in France they account for 41%. The researchers of CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) set the overtaking in 2022, when it is estimated that the figure will increase to 60%, on the basis of the enrollments at the faculty of Medicine.
Healthcare landscape is obviously changing. But often the higher career levels are still a men’s prerogative. Reasons cannot be found in the professional field but rather on the social level that still considers women as the family central figures and therefore they are often forced to sacrifice career in order to pursue the children’s wellness and education. According to SIC (Italian Society of Surgery), a surgeon – or an intern – out of two is a woman, but only 1% of them performs an important role in the NHS.
In Great Britain, the problem of the work plan, linked to a great demand by women for part-time shifts, already caused a great debate, with controversies and sexism accusations: as a matter of fact, doctors started the #LikeALadyDoc hashtag in response to an article in the Sunday Times claiming that the rising number of female doctors is causing problems in the NHS. The article, by Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson, refers to the “the feminization of medicine” and its impact on the NHS.