Doctors and their Careers: A New Generation


The profile of the medical profession is changing fast, with women accounting for around half of those coming out of medical school. To what extent do these young doctors find that there is room for them to make a major contribution to medicine, and to fulfil their own potential? Do women doctors have the same opportunities as men, or are there particular constraints on their careers which mean that they are destined to play a secondary role?

This report is a Department of Health funded follow-up to the major PSI study of Doctors and their Careers, published in 1988. It examines the careers of a new generation of doctors who qualified in 1986, and assesses the extent to which things have changed.

The study found considerable evidence that the medical career structure has been slow to adapt to the speed of change which has swept the health service since the publication of the first PSI report. It has also failed to react to the stark reality of the changing profile of medical manpower in which 50 per cent of those entering the profession are women, more than half of whom intend to work less than full time for at least some period of their careers. It concludes that the overwhelming evidence of increasing disillusionment among both men and women doctors in the new generation needs urgent attention.