Posted by: Witch Doctor | June 7, 2013

Women doctors! Women politicians!


The Witch Doctor who is still swishing and sweeping around on her broomstick in The Parallel Universe at the moment, has asked me to find out what they are saying about women doctors right now.

It seems there has been a potential spat between some female members of the government and some female doctors.

THE TIMES (Paywall)


“Anna Soubry said that there were “unintended consequences” of the rise in the number of women studying medicine
Around 55 per cent of medical students are now female and experts have said that the majority of all doctors will be women by 2017.

During a debate in Parliament abut the new 111 NHS advice line Anne McIntosh, the Tory MP for Thirsk and Malton, warned that female doctors are putting a strain on the NHS.”

Other papers gave a figure of 70% females.

A high profile woman doctor responded:

“And Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, hit out at the comments.

“Well – then I have the triple whammy – female and GP and mother,” she said. “I must go and bow my head in shame. I cannot believe that women doctors are being blamed for problems in the NHS.”

Now, a simple Black Cat thinks that some of the doctors of the female variety were far too touchy on this statistical observation regarding women doctors. Fortunately the spat was temporary and seemed to end on friendly terms.

No doubt The Witch Doctor will have a view on all of this since she has had many questions on women in medicine since the start of this blog in 2007. Here are some of them.




However, in the meantime My Black Cat has decided it might be interesting to read the comments relating to the above article.

Her is one that for some reason or another is making this Black Cat give a smile that makes her look rather like a cat of the Cheshire variety.

“Personally I think this is a distraction. Women doctors contribute greatly to the NHS and are generally of high quality. Both men and women are now going part-time and most full-timers are now over 50 probably planning to retire at 55 or shortly afterwards. The future for most doctors is part-time work as the modern workload is just so high. Talk of taking back OOH for instance will just promote an exodus of the medical workforce and the collapse of primary care.

I would actually be more concerned about what doctors are doing all day. Seeing patients is now the minority of their workload. Paperwork has exploded, CCG and other meetings have gone mad, Revalidation has spawned an industry with an insatiable appetite for medical time. Then add CQC and a few other Quangos Drs have to deal with and produce reports for, to gather dust on the shelves at great cost to the practice. There are now 31 methods of complaining about Drs shortly to be increased to 32 that consume Drs time greatly by vexatious complainants.

Just think what could be done without all this extra rubbish which our Leaders are distracting you from. Never mind it is fun to bash GPs and women in particular and complain about their imaginary pay which has fallen 20% since 2004, but what to do when they are gone?”

These days everything is much more formal, disciplined and litigious than it used to be. Apart from post-graduate examinations, continuing professional development is a lifetime activity and now requires rigorous documentation and approval. Appraisal, the ridiculous 360 degree merry-go-rounds, revalidation, guidelines, statistics, meetings and much more are all activities that are expected of all doctors and many have become compulsory.

A part-time doctor, male or female, will need to spend at least as much time on all of these activities as a full time one.

How does a part time doctor, male or female, working say two days a week fit in any time at all to see patients? Once upon a time many activities that did not involve direct patient contact were largely done in doctors’ own time, but nowadays most of it is formally built into contracted time. Granted, doctors generally work well over their contracted hours, but after the new GP and consultant contracts were introduced earlier last decade, they no longer have to.

What if medical women, and the dwindling number of male doctors too, say enough is enough? What if they work to contract or leave the profession altogether? What if male doctors are already voting with their feet and not entering the profession? What if that is the reason why we now have 70% female doctors?

Presumably the law of supply and demand will kick in and doctors will be able to dictate exactly how and when they work.

As we Black Cats watch these interesting medical antics of our time we can’t help thinking that most of The Humankind are mentally deranged.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: