Women and medicine: the future

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This report was commissioned in 2009 following heightened interest in the increasing number of women entering the medical profession at undergraduate level, and the growing role of women in the profession. The results of the research are presented in two forms: a long report containing a full analysis and descriptions of findings; and a short version setting out key factual findings, along with five recommendations.

The material contained in the report is the result of two years' painstaking collation and analysis of a comprehensive data set relating to various aspects of a medical career - entry, choice of specialty and modes of working. The aim of the report and its recommendations is to guide the profession and policy makers towards the development of a high quality work force - one that makes best use of the considerable talent available in today's medical profession.

The report and summary are available to download as a pdf.

From Mr John Black, president, Royal College of Surgeons 

I welcome the publication of this report. It provides a thorough, independent and objective analysis of the profound changes now under way in the composition of the medical workforce; and it demonstrates how far the profession has already shown an impressive capacity to adapt. The research also provides compelling evidence and a wealth of insights on factors influencing the specialty preferences of doctors in training. These findings dispel a number of myths about the profession and underscore its commitment to meritocratic working practices. All this points to a new agenda: the need to understand the organisational and economic implications of the increasing share of women in the profession and how this trend will interact with technological and clinical innovations as well as factors such as the ongoing effects of EWTD. in adapting to all the changes to working practices that we may need to consider over the next few years, the guiding principle is, nevertheless, clear: it is to maintain the best possible patient-centred care. I therefore hope that the profession as a whole will unite behind the recommendations contained in this report.

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