Women’s place in medicine

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Luana Ferreira Furtani, a 24 years old  student from the 4th year of medicine in Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde de Barretos, Brazil. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. 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.

It’s a fact that women are conquering their space in medicine, but we don’t think a lot about it until we look at the history. In the past, there were a lot of notorious women in the field, but they were always behind their husbands or partners due the stigmas of the time.

But now we see them in places where the majority of the physicians were men, like orthopedics, urology and some surgical specialties.

And to see the trace of these changes we don’t’ have to go too far, in my university, for example, I can say that at least 90% of the students are women and this numbers tend to stay for the future classes, which means that the trend is that the number of women in the area will increase further.

Besides the medical schools students numbers, we also have the increase of the women in the research field, leading research teams, or working in the teams that are nonstop looking for a cure for the covid-19.

Another old stigma for the women in medicine were that “women need raise a family, give birth, raise their child, they don’t have time to work as physicians or to do some specialties that they must be on duty 24/7” what is completely outdated, in nowadays women obtained the conscience, and somehow the right, that they don’t need to do any of these things or to do some of them when they think it’s the right time, not because the society commanded it. 

And this was a huge and necessary shift for the women in the world and in medicine. But, unfortunately, there is a long way to go, with the women in the medical field there is more health workers but the work conditions and remuneration is still poor and uneven.

About the author

Luana Ferreira Furtani, is a 24 years old  student from the 4th year of medicine in Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde de Barretos, Brazil. She’s also a local coordinator of the local committee IFMSA Brazil FACISB and assistant in the medical education national team from IFMSA Brazil. Besides that, she’s very interested in themes that involve women’s rights and their fight, because, as a woman too, she believes that there is still a long way to go but together we can do it, even If it takes a long time.


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