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More Women Medical Graduates Than Men

Britain Today there are more women graduating as doctors from Medical school than men. In a survey conducted by the British Medical Association (BMA) it was found that 58% of doctors graduating from UK medical schools in 2006 were female - up from 51% in 1995.

Women pursuing a career as a doctor outnumber men by almost three to two.

The poll of 435 doctors suggests one in five female doctors anticipate working part-time for most of their career. The figure for men was one in 25.

In comparison to 15%men, almost half (48%) women doctors said that they wanted to train less than full time at some point. Some two-third doctors believe they wanted to take a career break at some time.

The poll shows the need for more flexible working hours for those working in the NHS. There is also a need for funding of flexible training schemes which will allow junior doctors to work for less than full time.

Dr Blayney, who works at Arrowe Park Hospital, the Wirral, said: "The training jobs as they stand are all or nothing. You either do all the hours or don't get the post.

One junior medic, Dr Sarah Blayney, who is 24 and in her first year of work after graduating, said the current system left doctors with very little choice or flexibility. She said flexible working would be particularly relevant to female colleagues wanting to start a family.

Dr Jo Hilborne, chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said: "The medical workforce is changing rapidly and the NHS needs to wake up to the needs of its staff.

"It's not just the fact that more and more women are entering medicine - all staff should have the right to work-life balance." The government has already taken steps to cut the hours that doctors work.

Under the European Working Time Directive, junior doctors are no longer allowed to work over 58 hours.

This must be reduced to 48 by 2009. They are als o entitled to take rests to break up on-call duties and night shifts. The BMA is happy with these changes but they want more flexible training hours.

The results of the poll indicated that people are entering the medical profession on graduation at the age of 27 as compared to 24 in 1995.By the time they come out of the medical school they are in debt to an average of almost 20,798 pounds.

Some 16% of them were very confident that they would get a job on completion of training.

The survey was carried out before the crisis in medical training, caused by a new computerized application system, became apparent.

The most popular specialties on graduation were general practice, general hospital medicine and surgery.

All the issues and points will be put forward at the BMA annual conference, which is starting on Monday at Torquay, to be debated upon.


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