Representation of Gender Equality From the Perspective of the Medical Trainee and its Ripple Effect: Highlighting Gender Inequality in Medical Student Experiences

Representation of Gender Equality From the Perspective of the Medical Trainee and its Ripple Effect: Highlighting Gender Inequality in Medical Student Experiences

Lap Yan Leung (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9599-1.ch003

Abstract

It comes as no surprise that to tackle gender inequality in the future of the medical profession, the experiences of those who will become it must first be reviewed. Gender inequality is rife throughout all aspects of medical student life; from the classroom to clinical placements, from other healthcare professionals and public alike, for both male and female students. This chapter will discuss these, review literature, and share experiences. Consequently, this has an impact on their career choices, attrition, and mental health. By improving experiences and encouraging diversity, the hope is to reduce the negative effects discussed within the chapter, and break the cycle of inequality.
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Introduction

The desire for gender equality in the medical profession has never been more transparent and public as currently. It comes as no surprise that to tackle the future of the medical professions, we must first review the experiences of those who will become it.

From the perspective of a medical trainee, gender inequality affects the day-to-day experience and training, varying treatment from both healthcare professionals and the public and differing advice from seniors, colleagues and the wider community. Consequently, it has an impact on career choices, attrition and mental health.

The chapter will review the changes in medical student intake; describe medical student experiences both in the classroom and on placement, followed by the consequences of these experiences. Although gender issues are acknowledged on an international stage, there is limited information as to the rationale behind why they occur, particularly in relation to medical trainees and students. Furthermore, in aid of making change, this chapter will try to not only identify areas of gender inequality but attempt to suggest strategical methods in which we can implement change.

With the primary goal of identifying and challenging gender inequality within medical school, the hope is to tackle the problem at the core as a preventative measure breaking the cycle, instead of a reactive stance.

As with most aspects of gender inequality, typically the limelight demonstrates that inequality is greater amongst women. However, there are areas in which gender inequality is more evident in men and the aim is to highlight these as equally important as those affecting women.

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