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Based on your experience, on average, how likely is a hospital or clinic willing to hire a woman as a doctor over a man? If possible, please include region (location) of experience.

I want to become a medical doctor in the future and gender equality is something that I highly prioritize, especially in a future workplace. I asked this question to gain more information about where I would have a higher chance of employed and whether or not the health care community is more accepting of women doctors than in years past.
#doctor #healthcare #equality #womensrights #futurejob #futurecareer

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Kim’s Answer

Anna,
I'm not in the health careers. But, I'd like to say, living in San Antonio, home of a Medical School and several military bases, I have encountered many women doctors, with all sorts of specializations, even things like infectious disease doctors. I have no idea what they had to go through to get to where they are. I would expect it would be easier in urban areas than rural areas, but, that's just a guess.

As far as women's rights goes. . . As a retired female police officer, I want to address this. Does discrimination surely exist? Absolutely! Will you encounter it? Maybe. But, if you go through your career expecting to encounter discrimination, you will. Allow me to explain. Let's say you and a male go through medical school together, do the same internships, and, as far as you know, are "equally" qualified. He gets hired. You immediately suspect discrimination, and decide you no longer want to work for that particular practice that turned you down. What you may not know, is that this other candidate might have additional background experience that he never divulged to you. Perhaps he was a Paramedic. or a Combat Medic.

When you begin to see discrimination at every turn, it ends up eating at you. Don't be blind to it, but, make sure of what you are thinking before saying it to ANYONE. Remember, you are first and foremost a Doctor. Secondly, a female.

I hope this helps, and, please feel free to ask questions!
Kim
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Raquel’s Answer

Gender inequality isn't as much of an issue in healthcare as it used to be. There is increasing diversity in many healthcare professions, more women are becoming doctors and more men are becoming nurses. For doctors specifically, the majority of medical schools in the US are split pretty close to 50/50 for men and women accepted so there is a growing number of women physicians. Although gender bias certainly still exists it has seen significant improvements and any decent healthcare facility hires based on qualifications and fit with the goals, values, and culture of the workplace. As Kim mentioned in her answer, if you are constantly searching for inequality you will find it everywhere. Mindset makes a huge impact on perspective. Along with having an increase in women doctors in general, there are steadily increasing numbers of women joining competitive specialties. There is always more improvements to be made but you will never have a problem finding a good place to work as a doctor.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Anna! I'm impressed that you're prioritizing gender issues as you explore future careers. I work in health tech, with doctors as my clients though I'm not a doctor myself. I also have an interest in academic studies about women in the workplace. As Raquel summed up nicely, gender equality in healthcare is increasing, driven by higher enrollment of women in medical school and diversity hiring initiatives. Some specialties draw more women, while others tend to have more men. Whichever specialty you practice, you will likely not face significant barriers to getting a job because you are a woman, assuming you intend to practice in the US.

That's the good news. The bad news is that many current studies indicate that professional women tend to earn less and advance less frequently than their male peers. (The reasons for this are not necessarily the result of explicit gender discrimination, but can derive from implicit bias and policies that make being a working mother, for instance, more difficult.) Since you're at the beginning of your career journey, I would give you the following advice: 1) understand that striving for gender equality goes beyond hiring, learn your rights, and start building your self-advocacy skills, and 2) pick a career you are passionate about and strive to be the best you can at what you do.
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