We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's been a giant cultural change in medicine. Half of medical students are women these days. Many of them are Asians.
Today, college men are beginning to consider it to be a chick profession. Including cardio-thoracic surgery. Heck, I even know a lady urologist in Boston. Why not?
Many of the young women I know are going into Emergency Medicine. If you walk into your local ER, you will see if full of cute young ER MDs. Women going into medicine today tend towards the areas where they can work definite hours for a paycheck, work part-time, and have no on-call duties. ER, Radiology, Dermatology. They want a regular paycheck, benefits, and regular hours, and do not want the burdens, stress, and risks of opening a private practice. And, as as a gender, I think we tend to be more comfortable with rules and protocols than men and thus make better employees. Male docs hate rules and enjoy defying them.
The culture of medicine is changing, for better or worse. The older male docs will say, in confidence, that medicine is becoming "pussified." Their old school view is that medical practice is not meant to be either convenient, comfortable, or a partial dedication, but rather more like a priesthood.
Worse case, I can see a future of salaried docs happy to be working in government clinics. You patients will not like that.
I supply software to physicians. I am seeing another trend, where entrepreneurial doctors or non-physicians are opening private clinics that cater to the public. The doctors are able to work part-time with a flexible schedule, without all the paperwork.
Note: This is in Quebec, Canada, where our multi-tier medical system is run differently than the USA.
With government rationing of medical care, it's not how much money you have but which doctors you know.
Females put up with the on-going bureaucratization of medicine (both practice and the hoop-jumping to get into school [open disclosure: Daughter #1 is a 1st yr medical student so knowledge of the hoop-jumping is still fresh]).
Our local medical clinic already reserves 1 of it's 7 dermatology slots for a male doctor 'to deal with male issues'. Probably a trend for an increasing number of specialties going forward.
Soviet of Washington
It's heading in the direction of Soviet medicine, where it was a low-paid job staffed mainly by women.
Don't plan on living too long.
America's best brains will go into something more profitable.
I think medicines best days are probably behind us. Women are usually good students and more subservient to following rules (bureacracy) and the security working for someone else brings. I think the money days are waning also. Private third party pay subsidized govt medical services for years. I don't see how either system will be sustained.
Grew up in a small town where the doctors literally had to get out of town to have a day off. That's not good for anyone's health, least of all the doctors'. We have health professionals in the family now and convening a family gathering can get interesting.
With a bit of luck, women will bring a healthier perspective to the profession. Doctors need to balance life, family, and work just the way the rest of us do; and we need to find mechanisms to enable them to do so.
Oh dear. It is now the year 2012. And you are actually amazed / bothered by women doctors? In Europe, women have been entering the profession since the 1900s. It always shocks me how much gender inequality there stills seems to exist in the US! Where I come from, there are both female urologists and male gynaecologists, in fact, nobody seems to be very interested in the sex of a doctor, only in their qualifications and bedside manner.
Magdalena, you miss the point. Or do you? Why are Europe's doctors, men and women, coming to the US to practice? Seems to me that it is exactly because Europe doesn't value "qualifications and bedside manner", so they come here. I hope to be done with medical practice within five years. I fear, however, that there will be no one who will, as I have always done, roll out of bed in the middle of the night to take care of me. You'll all have finished your "shift", and too bad for me.