Why do many mothers in medicine feel that the careers of women in medicine are unfulfilling?
About 100 women in medicine from India of all specialties participated in the study. Who received their degrees exactly 30 years ago, with the remaining female doctors and students being younger. In order to determine whether the female physicians believed their gender had put a ceiling on their aspirations and accomplishments as doctors, the study designed a straightforward questionnaire where gender bias in medicine was also included.
The study also sought to determine how the mothers in medicine had been impacted by their responsibilities to their families and how much control they felt over their decisions.
About 51% of those polled believed that their gender had not influenced their work choice or advancement. The female doctors cited parental support as the primary reason they initially decided to pursue a profession in medicine. A few acknowledged that their parents had “gently directed” them on that path, which is a common occurrence in Indian homes.
However, when it came to post-graduation and additional training, nearly 60% of the women in medicine felt that the trade-offs they had to make between their professional and family obligations had undoubtedly affected their choice of specialization and sub-specialization which gradually paved way for gender bias in medicine.
The Role of Marriage
Surprisingly, a lot of female physicians believed their career advancement had not been negatively impacted by marriage. The fact that some of them now had another person’s life and career tightly entwined with their own had a different degree of influence on their decisions on specializations, including yours truly. Almost everyone acknowledged their spouse’s significant support when things were going well.
The Real Deal was the Kids
A child or children’s arrival had a significant impact on and altered their career paths. Nearly all of those who believed that their gender had restricted or limited their career options believed that this was because it was expected that the woman in medicine would balance the two with little to no assistance from their husbands in terms of career changes.
Putting Off and Resuming a Career
Several mothers in medicine, particularly those who had relocated abroad, put their careers “on pause” for periods ranging from 5 to 10 years until they felt that their kids could be left alone or in someone else’s care. When they restarted their dormant careers, these women in medicine succeeded greatly.
A female physician in India, who is already past the age of fifty, recently submitted her Ph.D. thesis despite already holding two diplomas. Another repeatedly turned down a PG seat before deciding to pursue her education. No women in medicine are that fortunate. For every one of these individuals, there are three who abandoned academia after giving up their seats.
How Far Can a Female Doctor really go?
The question of how far away the top rung was for women in their chosen field is now at hand. On a scale of 1 to 10, the study would place the majority of the women contacted at a more modest 6 or 7, where they have a successful career but not a particularly noteworthy one. However, there were a few extremely successful female doctors and mothers in medicine at the top of their game, ranging from renowned neonatologists to international faculty in their fields.
The boldness and initiative that are so appreciated in men are feared and even mocked in a woman, according to one female physician in the services.
There is also some anger directed at successful women in medicine. Another medical practitioner who has persisted in obtaining her super specialization stated that if her partner did not enjoy the city in which she was working, she would not be there. She believed that by doing this, she had muzzled her professional aspirations in order to conform to a predetermined standard.