West Hollywood, CA, July 29, 2005 -- Women represent around 25% of U.S. physicians and more than 50% of incoming medical students. Despite the advancements of women, medicine still remains a traditionally male dominated career. Even though more than 75% of female doctors are satisfied with their career choice so far, the situation for women in medicine raises concern. MomMD.com, a leading website for women physicians, medical students and premeds, recently released the results of their extensive women in medicine survey.
"The survey showed that women physicians are happy in general," says Sethina Edwards, founder of MomMD. "However, beneath the surface some serious issues lie. Female doctors reported that the number one issue was the need to increase the availability of part-time work and flexible training schedules. Adequate accommodation for pregnancy and improved childcare options came a close second and third."
One quarter had experienced negativity or discrimination as a result of their parental status, with nearly 40% experiencing gender discrimination at some point during their career. Although in working practice, the majority of physicians cited time constraints and paperwork as their biggest daily stressors. As a group, more than 90% of female physicians, medical students and premeds reported being concerned (with 64% being very concerned) about balancing family responsibilities with a medical career. The majority are less than satisfied with their work/life balance, with one-in-five being dissatisfied. The results also illustrated the relationship between hours worked and satisfaction levels. Two-thirds of those working more than 40 hours per week report being very dissatisfied, while those working 30-40 hours per week report feeling very satisfied about work and family balance.
"Never before have so many women chosen this career," says Edwards. "Many of these women are still pioneers, some 150 years on from America's first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. Some are the first in their practice to negotiate maternity leave or arrange pregnancies around medical school timetables. Around 30% of physicians reported taking less than 6 weeks maternity leave. Still, many are undeterred by the future ahead of them. The fact remains that many patients seek out the care of a woman physician."
Over 500 female doctors, medical students and premed students complete MomMD Women in Medicine Survey
The survey asked more than 60 questions to physicians, medical and premedical students. Questions related to career, family and professional issues. More than 500 respondents completed the survey. Click here for the MomMD Women in Medicine Survey Results