Male medics will soon be outnumbered3rd June 2009
A top-level report has warned that the majority of all doctors in the NHS after 2017 will be women.
The Royal College of Physicians document says this will have huge implications for NHS workforce planning with women more likely to want flexible working to fit with family commitments.
And the RCP fears this may have an effect on patient care.
Current trends already indicate that female GPs could outnumber their male counterparts within four years.
Since the early 1990s more than half of all new medical students have been female.
Figures show women form a majority of entrants to most specialty training and already make up 40% of all doctors, 42% of GPs and 28% of all consultants.
The college warns that specialties like general practice and public health medicine, with set hours, could become oversubscribed with women working part-time while surgery and anaesthesia, with long hours and on-call commitments, would remain male-dominated.
The RCP report says: "The growth in part-time work may also impose increasing organisational complexity if full-time doctors, female as well as male, begin to feel that their goodwill and availability are being overstretched by the demands of others who want to work flexibly."
Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said the government would work with the leadership of the medical profession to ensure that women have every opportunity to realise their aspirations.
Michael Summers of The Patients Association said: "We need all the doctors we can get. Whether they are male or female and working full time or part time matters not."
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Title: Male medics will soon be outnumbered
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 11619
Date Added: 3rd Jun 2009