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Women in Rural Medicine

About Women in Rural Medicine – from the RHEF website: “Recent research has indicated that significant future workforce shortages are likely to occur in rural and remote areas over the next decade. This is due, in part, to the retirement of older rural male General Practitioners. However, with increasing numbers of females entering the workforce, women are the next generation of rural medical practitioners.”

“Medicine and rural medicine in particular, used to be an almost exclusively male occupation.  Now, forty percent of young doctors taking up rural general practice are female. Rural medicine is the point in the profession where the changes stemming from the presence of women will be felt first and most fully.  Rural medicine is almost the only branch of the profession with a shortage of applicants.  It needs more recruits than apply for positions.  As a consequence it has to appeal to as wide a range of young doctors as possible, including women.”

“There is now good evidence from Australia that while all doctors have a shared body of knowledge, there are different preferred working styles which can be identified as favoured by women and men.  Research has demonstrated that in general, men value psychosocial aspects of health less than women do.  They place less emphasis on wholistic care, practice less preventive medicine, deal with one problem at a time rather than the many which patients present with, do less counselling, and prefer to carry out procedures rather than deal with mental health issues.”

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