Monday, October 01, 2007

THE LAST GENDER TABOO?

60% of medical students in Italy are female and, by 2017, it is estimated that 80% of the country's doctors will be female. No problem , you may think, until it is pointed out to you that most Italian men do not want to be examined by a woman urologist or have viagra prescribed for them by a woman doctor. The reason why this should be is a mystery to me, for until very recent times women have had little or no choice in the gender of their obstetrician or gynaecologist. Laying aside taboos against a woman being examined by a male doctor in certain countries [ironically often the very same countries that make it impossible for women to qualify as doctors and so alleviate the problem] I cannot understand why, if you have a medical condition, the gender of the professional who helps you should matter.

In Italy, it seems , although women have had the vote since 1946 and have equal rights in law, there is still a perception that only a man can be a surgeon or pull a tooth because both tasks are seen as requiring physical strength.

I understand that more women than men are studying medicine in the UK, too, and that, in both countries, questions about more flexible working hours are being posed. I would support this idea only if such rights are also extended to men and to those without families: otherwise, your shift may be inconvenient but you have to work it!
You can read Corriere's article in Italian here and in English here.

14 comments:

Andrew Allison said...

Both my doctor and dentist are female. No problems with that.

mutleythedog said...

Do you do massages?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I still don't quite get why Men fel more comfortable with a Male Doctor.

Sorry, but I feel the reverse.

I don't feel comfortable dropping my trousers in front of a bloke.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, AA. Glad to hear it. Mutley, you'll have to give me about 3 months to come up with a witty reply to that! Hi, Crushed. "There we are, then", as we say in Wales.

jmb said...

It's funny how the gender of practitioners in various professions is so different in various countries (grammar?). In Australia 50% of pharmacists were women and when I came to Canada only 15% were.
Funnily enough, recently, when I had to have a tooth extracted by my female dentist she said I'll get XXX, (her husband, with whom she practises) to do it, he's stronger than me. Both are Chinese and both small!
For a woman it does take longer to arrive at your goal when you have children however. My friend, a radiation oncologist, with 3 children took years longer to be a certified specialist than her husband because of time off. She also couldn't get a part time job when she wanted to go part time so the whole family moved to another province to enable that. regards
jmb

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Interesting, jmb, to learn how the situstion is different there. I'm sorry but I think if you are a professional woman and you have children, that is something you have chosen to do and you can't expect the institution to work around your needs. It has to be the other way around. I have worked with so many women who thought that because they had young families they were special cases , whilst their single colleagues had equally valid needs, did not have the benefits and choices that 2 salaries in 1 household give you and yet also needeed a little understanding at times - of course they / we got none.

Winchester whisperer said...

Italian men! And look at the political scene: not many women there except porn stars or dictators' relations

Sean Jeating said...

Varying what Seneca stated: It is medicine, not [scenery] gender, for which a sick (wo)man must go searching. :)

Lord Higham-Johnson said...

The reason why this should be is a mystery to me...

Really, Welsh? Are you really that naively innocent? That's very sweet.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, WW. Yes, pathetic of them! Quite so, Sean. I am the flower of innocence itself, caro Giacomo.

Lord Higham-Johnson said...

There's a little something waiting for you at my place but whether you like it is another matter, dear Welshcakes.

mutleythedog said...

I just read your comment by His Lordship... excellent post may I say!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, James. Very clever and I've had a good laugh. Hi, Mutley. He's brilliant, isn't he?

Lee said...

I wonder why the percentages are more in favour of women...it probably is just a trend and the pendulum will swing back the other way in time.

Counters


View My Stats