Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dr. Crippen, Blog Fodder

Oh he's done it now. He has truly done it. I have spent several years of my life working to become a doctor, only to have Dr. Crippen suggest that perhaps I and other women physicians don't have a right to certain specialties or job flexibility. He quotes a Dr. Sarah Blayney, who writes:

"The training jobs as they stand are all or nothing. You either do all the hours or don't get the post. I want to pursue a career in hospital medicine, which will mean me committing to a minimum of five years of fairly hefty on-calls. "

At the moment I am 24, single and am enjoying life. But in four or five years time my situation may have changed and I may not want to work those hours."

She said flexible working would be particularly relevant to female colleagues wanting to start a family, but said male colleagues were also interested in changing their hours. For example, some wanted to take time out to travel, she added."
Note that the need for flexible job hours is cited as a concern for both men and women. However, Dr. Crippen takes it upon himself to limit this issue to women:
"It is right and proper that women can pursue a career in medicine. But at what stage do we decide that the needs of medical training can no longer be subsumed by the needs of working mothers?"
Perhaps Dr. Crippen would do well to remember that not all women are, or are planning to be, mothers. Perhaps he would do well to remember that here are many other reasons for limiting on-call and extended working hours---like retaining one's sanity. But that's OK because he also suggests that: "Sarah lives in cloud-cuckoo land. She wants the job but she is not prepared to do the hours....You need to grow up a little.... Just because you are a girlie, you can’t expect medical training to be turned on its head."

Good God. I thought we had grown beyond that. I thought I had left thinking like that behind on my surgery rotation, along with the bra-snapping resident and the resident who once complained about me scrubbing in: "I found a medical student to help, but she's a girl." Given that over half of all medical students in training today are female, it's truly time for this discrimination to be over.

So please feel free to visit NHS Blog Doctor today and leave a comment. The only comment I have to say right now is: "Sic 'em!"

[From Clink: Sigh...she insists on modifying my post again...At least I can modify her awful color choice.]
Guess What? The first half of Chapter 10 is up on Double Billing.