Women in Medicine

Women now make up 51% of western medical school trainees, yet we are vastly under-represented in specialties, on boards, as heads of department, as leaders of our medical community.

We are as equally interested in everything as men when we embark on our medical training, but somewhere along the way we seem to lose interest… or lose heart. We also earn significantly less than our male colleagues performing similar jobs, even when reduced working hours are taken into account. It is all too easy to say that we work fewer hours, take time off to have families, work part time – but that is certainly not true for all of us.

What is it about the culture of medicine, and the way we are in it, that has created this situation?

What is it about the way we see ourselves and each other that does not allow us to back ourselves or support each other to advance our careers and fulfill our potential?

The current culture of medicine does not suit women, as reflected in their higher levels of psychological distress and their lower levels of ‘achievement’ and yet, recent studies have shown that patients do better with female doctors.

What can medicine learn from its women doctors?

What are the special qualities that women offer, that are worth honouring, nurturing and bringing to the profession as a whole; that we may all benefit from the beauty that women are and bring?

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Latest Articles on Women in Medicine

Photo of The Pill for article on The Pill by Dr Anne Malatt

The Pill

Of all the many drugs on the market, there is only one pill known as ‘The Pill’. The Pill is a combination of synthetic female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – used to mimic pregnancy and suppress female ovulation and thereby fertility, reducing the chance of unwanted pregnancy.
Photo of sunflower for article by Dr Pseudonymous

Mentors, Sponsors and Gender Inequity

I recently attended a conference and heard a presentation delivered to female surgeons which addressed the subject of mentors, sponsors and gender inequity in...
Photo of rose for article on "Mother Guilt" by Dr Anne Malatt

Top tips for dealing with ‘Mother guilt’

I am an ex-superwoman. I learned my special powers from my mother, who was an actual superwoman – she worked full-time as a doctor,...
photo of Dr Anne Malatt by Clayton Lloyd for article on Being A Woman

Being a woman

In medicine, I am seen as a woman at times when it suits some agendas, and not seen as a woman when it does...

Violence against women: Dr Denis Mukwege and the Nobel Peace Prize

Medicine is a noble profession, so it is confirming and uplifting when we hear stories of those who have used the power of our...

Women and Alcohol – The Lily Livers

“Sober is the New Black”, “Mind Your Drink”, “The Sober Diaries”, “The Sober Revolution”, “Drunk Mom”, “Mindful Drinking”, “The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober”,...
Photo of Dr Anne Malatt and Dr Jane Barker by Mr Alan Johnston for article by Dr Jane Barker on Women are Rising

Women are Rising: are we ready?

The tide is turning and women are rising, but are we ready? That in Medicine there should be gender equity in student admissions, in pay,...
Photo of Anne Malatt by Clayton Lloyd for article by Dr Anne Malatt on Why don't women lead the way?

Why aren’t women leading the way?

Women are natural leaders. We lead by example, by reflection and by virtue of the fact we have an innate wisdom in our bodies...
Photo of Dr Eunice Minford for article 'Falling in and out of love with Medicine"

A man in a woman’s body – there is another way

I grew up believing it is a man’s world and that to succeed in the world I would have to be like a man...
Photo of women at Australian Women of Medicine conference for article by Dr Anne Malatt on Women of Medicine

Women of Medicine – can we change the world?

I recently attended the inaugural conference of Australian Women of Medicine, in Melbourne on 26 November 2017. It was a wonderful day, and I...
Photo by Clayton Lloyd of Dr Anne Malatt for her article on Sexual Abuse in Surgery

Sexual Abuse in Surgery

The sexual abuse of women is once again in the news as the behaviour of a Hollywood producer is brought into the light. But...
Dr Eunice Minford surgeon in scrubs for article on Why Women Make Great Surgeons by Dr Anne Malatt

Why women make great surgeons

“The ideal surgeon should have the eye of an eagle, the heart of a lion and the hands of a woman.” 15th century English proverb Women now make...
Doctor Anne Malatt

What does a doctor look like?

An article published in 2016 recounted the stories of several female doctors who had offered in-flight assistance to distressed passengers in response to the...
a moonflower symbolising the delicate beauty of a woman

Women at the heart of medicine

With gender equity in medical schools, women are very definitely at the heart of Medicine where they always should have been. The question remains,...
A delicate waterlily symbolising a woman

The Qualities Women Bring To Medicine That We Can All Learn From

In late 2016, a landmark paper was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.(1) A study of around 1,600,000 urgent medical admissions...