Gender and choosing a specialty
Lifestyle, role models, and expectations associated with gender shape our career plans. Alan Salter discusses the implications
- By: Alan Salter
Throughout training, medical students encounter a variety of experiences in many specialties. These experiences are crucial because they form the basis for the student's ultimate career choice. This is a decision of great importance, not just for the individual, but for healthcare provision as a whole. But what is it about these experiences that motivates medical students to pursue certain careers within medicine? This article will explore three of the most influential factors, using general surgery and obstetrics and gynaecology to illustrate the broad themes.
Only one in 500 new male doctors choose to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology.1 One of the main reasons is the perception that this discipline is dominated by women, with male medical students having negative experiences during training. A recent study showed that 42% of all reported incidents of discrimination towards medical students were during obstetrics and gynaecology placements, and the vast majority of these