Gender and general practice: the single-handed woman General Practitioner


This research examines women GPs' careers, how they run their practices and how they reconcile professional and domestic lives. It looks at the particular experiences of women GPs who practise alone, and at the pressures in past practice experience which have led them to do so. It is argued that many of the problems of group practice which can be identified are attributable to gender. For example, one reason given for entering general practice is a desire to be able to provide the full range of medical care and not to specialise. Women GPs, however, may find themselves seeing more women patients for "women's problems" and children than they would freely choose. Women have not entered general practice in order to specialise in these areas of medicine. Indeed, if they had wanted to specialise in obstetrics, gynaecology or paediatrics they would have had difficulty advancing very far in these male-dominated areas of hospital hierarchy. Other gender related problems exist for women in general practice and practising single-handedly is one strategy that women GPs have used to counter the problems of working in male-dominated practices and partnerships. However, the twenty-four hour commitment of single-handed practice may bring further pressures in reconciling this with responsibility for home life. Out-of-hours cover, which can be viewed as the link between professional and domestic life, where the one intrudes into the other, is also examined in terms of the gender issues it raises. The interaction of gender and ethnicity is also considered for the 11 Asian women GPs in the study. Interviews were conducted with 29 single-handed women GPs in the Midlands. In addition, some cases were studied in greater depth by being observed in their surgeries and on home visits for a day each. A qualitative/feminist approach to analysis has been employed.

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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender,general practice,single-handed woman,General Practitioner
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:20
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:05
Completed Date: 1987
Authors: Lawrence, Barbara


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