The Health Services of the UK need to train more male doctors in the UK

Medical Students are now predominantly women, and some Medical Schools have 80% or more women in their intake. Women perform better than men at 18/19 years old (for all university course entrants), and this is the age when most students in the UK enter medical school.

This is not the case in the United States and in Canada where most medical students are graduates.

One of the reasons we have had such poor manpower planning (see A Maynard paper from York 1993) in medicine in the UK is the unpredictable nature of the workforce. With so many women, the state is getting less work years than it used to out of its newly trained staff. Women do have babies, and career breaks, and all parents have to make arrangements for children when they leave school. We need more men, and if the ratio is to remain 80:20 for women:men then we probably need 20 times the number of doctors. If the numbers of male:female are to be even we may need perhaps only 3 times the number.

Fast track (course reduced by one year for graduates) and normal graduate entry should become the norm for the UK.

As it is, the shortage and under-capacity will mean a new import of overseas doctors (Sophie Borland in the Mail 31st August 2013) to man our poor and deprived areas, and possibly some inner cities as well.

league of nations

National Health Services statistics show that, as of 2012, there are 109,000 doctors working in the United Kingdom. There are also 122,100 scientists and other therapists. For more information, visit The Daily Mail article from 2012. Of these 109,000 there are approximately 65,000 from non UK countries. Whilst accepting that we export doctors as well, the proportion seems rather high at near 70%, and deliberate or accidental rationing by under-capacity seems wrong to me.

Update 28th January 2013:

The telegraph Randika Sandani reports 26th January 2013:

CBBC: ‘Girls are over emotional’ while ‘boys will be boys’: A BBC guide, written for its children’s channel, that describes girls as “over   emotional” and boys as “activity and task focused”, has come under fire for   gender stereotyping

The implications for health planners are that Male Doctors tend to be more task orientated, and the ladies more process orientated. Productivity and complaints are higher for Males, and patient satisfaction and caring, provided they have enough time for their patients, are higher for Females…

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media, Uncategorized on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

3 thoughts on “The Health Services of the UK need to train more male doctors in the UK

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