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newsflash: women now also to blame for doctor shortage!

March 14th, 2008     by Thea Lim     Comments

I don’t know if you’ve heard but there’s a rumour in the media going around that women are to blame for the current Canadian doctor crisis - perpetuated in part by Maclean’s Magazine, the jerks! That’s right, along with the destruction the home and the pandemic of pants-wearing, feminism is now out to ruin your health!

There’s a fabulous editorial in the recent issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) that criticises this dirty rumour: The message conveyed by much of the coverage [of the 2007 National Physician Survey] and commentary implied that female physicians simply do not work as hard as their male colleagues. These reports seem to be telling Canadians “if you’re having trouble finding a physician, a large part of the blame lies with the increasing number of female doctors in the system.”…

In Canada, 33.3% of physicians are female; 48.6% of physicians under age 40 are women. Women provide more services than men in certain areas of medicine. The decline in physicians’ working hours is attributed more to the decline in hours worked by male physicians than the increasing proportion of female physicians. Women do work differently than their male counterparts: they put in many more hours in combining professional duties, childcare and household responsibilities.

From Romanow and Kirby to McKendry and the George expert panel, we are all attempting to understand and address this serious issue for all Canadians. To suggest that a physician workforce that more equitably represents women in the workplace is the barrier to access is frankly a sexist excuse for logic.

Yeah! You tell ‘em, CMAJ!

Tags: media savvy, news flash

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