The gender gap of medicine in 2018

UN Women 2018

(UN Women, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Giolanta Zevgaridou, a 2nd year medical student in the University of Ioannina in Greece. Ms Zevgaridou is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Gender equality is an increasingly debatable topic in almost every profession. “Does gender equality exist?”, “Does  gender equality exist in the workplace?” are only a sample of the variety of questions concerning today’s society.

As medical students and future doctors it is important to approach this topic not only as members of the society but also as a part of the healthcare system. Therefore, it is essential for us to put our interest on gender equality in medicine concerning every aspect of the profession such as inter-professional and doctor-patient relationships.

Concerning academic medicine, there seem to be a lot of stereotypes and a lot of behaviours -from teachers, students or family acquaintances- that may blare one’s decision about the specialty he’ll choose. Indicatively, there seem to be evidence in the United States as well as in Eastern Europe and Asia, that women are yet not chosen for prestigious specialties or academic career.

Therefore, I believe that it is important that the educational system should focus not only in having a similar number of genders as doctors in every specialty (equality), but also an equivalent number of genders as equally educated doctors in every specialty (equity). Practically this means that the system should be directed to provide each student the same stimuli, the same knowledge, and the same opportunities regardless of the gender. This way the human resources available in the medical sector will be fairly distributed among genders. As a result, the various specialties will be practised by truly passionate doctors, meaning the improved performance of medical society.

Having all this data at hand, one can easily understand how this discrimination continues in the workplace and influences the patients. No matter the big steps towards having the same number of doctors (equality), we still lack having the same kind of doctors among genders (equity).

Women must face not only constant doubt about their availability, due to the role of mother they often have, but also constant doubt from their patients, concerning their abilities. Women have traditionally been connected to family and most importantly emotionalism. Therefore, there still are specialties in which patients prefer to choose  man over  woman, such as surgeons where logic must prevail. Even though discrimination in medicine keeps dropping down, there still are some main issues to be ameliorated.

Overall, gender equality is a serious issue in medicine, most importantly on how doctors are and should be perceived as professionals by their co-workers as well as by their patients. During academic years there should be a system providing equality and equity on knowledge and medical students’ orientation. In practising medicine, we should also eliminate aged ideas!

At the end, the absence of gender equality in  medicine makes the oppressed group try harder and achieve the achievable.

About the author

Giolanta is a 2nd year medical student in the University of Ioannina in Greece. She has
been actively participating in HelMSIC since her first year in medical school and is mostly passionate about Public Relations. However, she has been involved in the Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health and in the Standing Committee on Public Health.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

Eurozone’s north-south growth gap to become structural

Air pollution: Most EU Member States not on track to reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

These are the countries best prepared for the fight against cancer

Prospect of lasting peace ‘fading by the day’ in Gaza and West Bank, senior UN envoy warns

Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

Learning lessons from across Europe – the hidden costs of COVID-19 on lung cancer

Why ‘video call fatigue’ might be making you tired during lockdown – and how to beat it

What is tuberculosis and why are deaths rising?

Mergers: Commission waives the commitments made by Takeda to obtain clearance of its acquisition of Shire

10 ways COVID-19 could reshape offices

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

4 lessons on human cooperation from the fight against Ebola

Collaboration and connectivity at ITU Telecom World 2019

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

What does artificial intelligence do in medicine?

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Progress made at COP25, despite lack of agreement to increase climate ambition

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Countries must invest at least 1% more of GDP on primary healthcare to eliminate glaring coverage gaps

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

Starbucks and FIAT again under Commission’s microscope: is Europe ready to kick multinationals out of the house?

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

India vs Virus: voices from the COVID front line

How the tech sector can power the shift to a sustainable economy

UN chief welcomes G20 commitment to fight climate change

Are we at risk of a financial crisis? Our new report takes a look

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Conserve Italia for participation in canned vegetables cartel

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

With 5 billion set to miss out on health care, UN holds landmark summit to boost coverage

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

Essential services on verge of shutdown in Gaza as emergency fuel set to run out

Here are three technology trends changing the way you travel

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

5 crises that could worsen under COVID-19

How can we make enough vaccine for 2 billion people?

China, forever new adventures

Quality Internships: Towards a Toolkit for Employers

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

YouTube stars get creative at UN, to promote tolerance

These Dutch tomatoes can teach the world about sustainable agriculture

daniela-runchi-jade-president__

A Sting Exclusive: “Education in Europe, fostering skills development inside and outside the school system”

How the mobile industry is driving climate progress on the scale of a major economy

EU defence gets a boost as the European Defence Fund becomes a reality

How the Belt and Road Initiative could support an ageing population

Better understanding the psychological impact caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our poisonous air is harming our children’s brains

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

Normal reactions to the abnormality of the pandemic

How climate change sparks innovation for fragile communities

Thai cave boys spared thundershowers, highlighting extreme climate disruption: UN weather agency

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

Why the euro may rise with the dollar even at lower interest rates

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

We must stop turning a blind eye to the world’s health crises

Living in a pandemic: what are the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of the youth?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: