Queen's University

More female doctors a healthy trend, says prof

 
2009-03-10

Queen's professor of Family Medicine Dr. Susan Phillips

 

The growing number of female doctors is a positive trend for population health, says Queen's professor of Family Medicine Dr. Susan Phillips.

The growing number of female doctors is a positive trend for population health, says Queen's professor of Family Medicine Dr. Susan Phillips.

Although men still comprise about two-thirds of all Canadian doctors, that percentage is shifting. In 2007, women accounted for 57.4 per cent of students accepted into Canadian medical schools.

In an article published by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Phillips and medical student Emily Austin argue that the way women practice medicine strengthens the health care system.

“As women increasingly enter medicine and become generalists, rather than being a liability by not working excessively long hours or abandoning parenting, the nature of the care they provide may result in improved population health,” says Dr. Phillips, noting that female medical students are more likely to become primary care physicians such as family doctors and pediatricians rather than subspecialists or surgeons.

A greater proportion of generalists to specialists is associated with increased longevity of the population, she adds.

 

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