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Should female doctors get paid less than male ones?

by | 18th, September 2012

SHOULD  female doctors get paid less than male ones? No, this isn;’t some tired variation on the standard patriarchal nonsense. It’s actually quite an important question. You see, many female doctors, many more than male, go part time for some portion of their career. This has possible implications for how they should be paid. Dr Andrew Goddard, the Royal College of Physicians’ director of medical workforce, said:

“We know that 38 per cent of female consultants work part-time compared to 5 per cent of male consultant physicians.

The numbers for GPS are even higher.

Now, a doctor who works part time only gets part time wages. That’s just fine, no worries there. However, there’s something else in here. Which is what it costs to train a doctor. Around and about £250,000 last time I saw. This is paid by the NHS which does the actual training.

Doctors tend not to be qualified until they’re about 30, often retire at about 60, so that £250k cost gets spread over a working life of 30 years. But what if that working life is in fact 15 years full time and 15 part? Say, the likely sort of amount of time for a woman to sprog two kids and get them into secondary school? The NHS is paying the same amount in training to get back less work from that trained person.

If doctors had to borrow the money to get educated then pay it back then this wouldn’t matter a damn, They could make their own decisions about how much they’d like to work. But given that it is us taxpayers then there is a legitimate interest, don’t you think?

Of course, this doesn’t apply just to female doctors, it applies to those who decide to go part time. But given that most of those who do go part time are female it can also be described as a gender issue. Given that we get less work out of those we’ve paid to train, should we be paying them less?

Photo: This photo is the diploma of the first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, taken, Jan., 19, 1949. It was conferred by the Medical Department of Geneva, now Hobart College, Jan. 23, 1849. It was the first diploma to bear the word “Domina”. It was composed and engrossed by William Paret, a graduate of Hobart with class of 1849, who in 1885 became Bishop of Maryland, Jan. 19, 1949. 



Posted: 18th, September 2012 | In: Money Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink