When women go to work in male dominated jobs, a clear message is given to them that they are not fit for the long hours and the organizational loyalty that the job requires due to the tug of children and the demand of family obligations. Many organizations, including hospitals put loyalty tests like long work hours to find out whether the employees will be able to meet the requirements of business. The main section where these hurt is the women employees. In the course of time, one can see men moving up the organizations much faster than women as the family obligations of women affect their job opportunities seriously. This restricts for the women a chance to get visible and revenue producing jobs with a brilliant career.
The 1997 National Study of Changing workforce dealt with the composition of jobs and the frequency levels of the work getting into the home. This was found to depend a lot on attitudes, and there the main argument was that the spill over between work and obligations to the family is generally a control for the women which does not depend n the type of work environment to which they are attached. It has been found that when women take up jobs which are generally taken up by males, there was a high perception to the women of the conflict between the conflict of work and family. It is seen that where the jobs are male-dominated, the conflict between work and family is a part of the message that women receive from the society that are not in possession of the required commitment for success in the present day, male dominated society. Women would face more tension due to shuttling between work and family than males. (Maume; Houston, 2001)
Another reflection of the problems of women in work is due to emergency child care, which is different from ordinary child care. The problems regarding this take place in the staying back at home to take care of the child when both the parents are supposed to be busy at work. There also nowadays changes are taking place over time in the responses to the answers to that question. It is interesting to look at the extent to which men are willing to place on the limits of their careers due to the family. Men’s acceptance or rejection of interesting job responsibilities, promotion in jobs, etc. due to the restrictions of the family may be looked at carefully. The reason for looking at these questions is to determine whether the new fathers of the present time have really changed and become more family conscious. There is a lot of talk going on about that right now.
When we come down specifically to the question of female physicians, it is generally known that they generally do not work as many hours as physicians. This question has been looked at by the American Association of Physicians committee on pediatric workforce, and also its subcommittee of women in pediatrics. The term productivity here can be interpreted in many ways and is also measured in a number of ways. The study was conducted through the number of hours worked of the 6,711 general pediatricians who had replied to the surveys by the association during the years of 1992 to 1998. The data which came out showed that female pediatricians were like their colleagues in other specialties, and they also worked less number of hours than their male colleagues. The revealed figures stated that female pediatricians worked for 40.4 hours on direct patient care as against the 49.7 hours spent by the male pediatricians for the same purpose. (Female pediatricians work full-time equivalent hours)
The analysis revealed the same results when the total hours per week worked were compared. Female pediatricians had an average of 44 hours as compared to 54 hours for the male pediatricians. Thus one can say that there is a general tendency among the female physicians to work for a lower number of hours than the male pediatricians. That analysis however does not lead to the women pediatricians in making a lesser effort in their work than the males. Through the use of that 40 hours n a week of patient care as the basis for a full-time equivalent for a female pediatrician by the Health Resources and Services Administration, it is shown that the average general pediatrician still is a full scale pediatrician, irrespective of being male or female. More than 85% of the male pediatricians and 59% of the female general pediatricians spend a minimum of 40 hours per week in general patient care. (Female pediatricians work full-time equivalent hours)
The survey data also reflects on the peak efficiency of the women and that is shown to be during the ages of 51 and 60. There were the surveys numbered 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34 and 35 that were completed between 1992 and 1998. The surveys were done on the basis of the mail sent to a random sample of 1,600 members of AAP in the United States. The general response was about 69%. The data given above are based on the response of 6,711 pediatricians who were busy for 75% of their time in general pediatrics. They had all finished their residency training and practice in a single or two physician practices at non-profit health center, in the pediatric group or a multi-specialty group. They were not in medical schools or hospitals. (Female pediatricians work full-time equivalent hours)
At the same time, it is clear that the number of women doctors is increasing at a very sharp rate. Lynn C. Epstein, MD had graduated from John Hopkins Medical School in 1968 and at that time doctors like her were rare. The ratio of women doctors were then only about 7%. After thirty eight years, she is a clinical professor emeritus for psychiatry and community health at Brown University and during this period has seen a lot of change. In today’s world about one quarter of the doctors are women. The position in future is clearer as about half of the medical students are women as per the information available with the American Medical Association. The ratio of women doctors in the total is expected to rise from about a quarter to a third by 2010. The coming in of a lot of women in the profession has changed not only the composition of the profession but also the style of patient care. Epstein is the president of the American Medical Women’s Association and according to her “As physicians, women have made an enormous contribution in understanding that there are diseases that affect women disproportionately, and differently. They’ve begun to get the message out that female patients have different needs that are legitimate and should be met.” (Flooding the Field)
Two of the best examples of women involved in the change of the healthcare agenda are the creation of the National Institute of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health and the Women’s Health Initiative. The second named has conducted the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the U.S.A. regarding the benefits of hormone replacement therapy. This was not the situation when Epstein had first started practicing, and at that stage women were excluded from trials. There were concerns about the possible risks through undiagnosed pregnancies and thus unknown children. For both male and female patients also have had a difference due to the women doctors, as they have a general tendency to spend a lot more time with their patients and thus take care of prevention. Most women also prefer to have women doctors. At the same time, they earn less than their male counterparts – about $120,000 a year in 2000. This is about $75,000 less than the male doctors. This is not a reflection that most women go into primary care, work a lower number of hours than males and generally do not own their practices. (Flooding the Field)
There is also a glass ceiling in academic medicine, and there was a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges had found that in the course of 15 years, the proportion of the medical faculty who had become full professors had gone up by just 1% to a grand total of 11%. Not many of them are also in the administrative ranks. There are only nine female deans in the 126 medical schools in the country, and only 241 ladies head departments out of the total 2,700 positions that are available in the country. The main reason for women not being available in academics is a lot due to the considerations of the family and that is one of the main considerations. Apart from the positioning consideration, they have a need to look after family concerns and that has definitely left a mark on the healthcare workplace. (Flooding the Field)
One of the new things that this has given birth to is the flexible and part-time schedules for work which did not exist about ten years earlier. Holly Novak, MD had given up an interventional cardiology practice at one stage and the reason was that it disturbed her duties as a single adoptive mother. She has now grown to be the director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Center and the Women’s Health Program at St. John Hospital in Springfield. She feels that practices have to adapt to the needs of female physicians. Some types of medicine are more easily adjusted to flexible schedules than others and that may be one of the main reasons for a lot of women being in primary care. Internal medicine gives women a lot of flexibility as there are many different types of situations for job and work. On the other hand, a surgeon definitely needs an operating room. (Flooding the Field)
It seems very difficult for women to see the same number of patients as men, and this was demonstrated in the case of Melissa Garretson, MD. She tried seeing the same number of patients every day as her male pediatrician colleagues, but could not take the pace, and now she operates in the same schedule as her colleagues, but sees 5 to 20 lesser patients every day. She works in a five-member practice at Fort Worth, Texas and says “I am at my comfort level with my schedule. I spend more time with my patients and have more lunches to myself. I have a tight schedule, but it is realistic. If you ask my patients whether they wait for Dr. Garretson, they will say, ‘No’.” It is seen in general that women physicians work about 7 to 13% less number of hours than men and also see corresponding fewer patients. (A quest for balance)
Total of averaging working per week is dropping a fall by two hours during the course of the course the last ten yester day. The time spent by the male physicians are 56 hours in 1999 and the women physicians was only 49, and the case of patients visits for male doctors, the figure for male doctors was 100 per doctor while for women it was 86. Often it is clearly seen that women tend to listen closely to complaints and give a lot of freedom to the patience to ask questions. This is probably the reason why these doctors are less likely to be sued. (A quest for balance) Thus there is a fundamental difference between women and men medical doctors. The clear reduction of working hours is what the doctors need, and this is probably the best method for stopping the burnout.
Female pediatricians work full-time equivalent hours: AAP survey” Retrieved at http://www.aap.org/research/periodicsurvey/ps20_35.htm. Accessed on 31 July, 2004
Flooding the Field” (August, 2003) Retrieved at http://www.healthleaders.com/magazine/feature1.php?contentid=47255Accessed on 31 July, 2004
Greene, Jay. (May 14, 2001) “A quest for balance: Personal vs. professional” AM News. Retrieved at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2001/05/14/prsa0514.htm. Accessed on 31 July, 2004
Maume, David J; Houston, Paula. (2001) “Job Segregation and gender differences in work-family spillover among white-collar workers” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. Volume: 22; No: 2; pp: 171-189
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