The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Female empowerment: women making gains in the medical field

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Two of 186,606 female doctors in 1999 helping treat a patient.

In 1999, there were approximately 186,606 female doctors compared to 611,028 male doctors. While those numbers are respective to the gender inequality of that time, the statistics still show similar inequalities with only 37% of doctors in the workforce being female. However, the future is starting to look more promising. 

The number of women in medical school has been steadily rising alongside the acceptance of women in post-secondary education. With women making up more than half of medical school applicants and graduates, the medical field is becoming increasingly more diverse. Part of the reason is the access to education for women. It has become more accessible and acceptable for women to receive a postgraduate education. 

Many medical schools have gender based initiatives, such as Baylor College of Medicine, who have created grants specifically for women researchers. These grants encourage women to pursue medical careers and ensure female researchers will be properly awarded for their work.  

Even with more women studying in medical schools, a researcher in Australia found women made up 60% of medical students, however only 11% became surgical consultants. 

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“I’m kind of afraid that in the future, we will go down that same loop of a high amount of female medical students, with little continuing with their career,” junior Emily Brunson expressed. 

While the majority of post secondary graduates are women, many of whom have little recognition in the workforce. Additionally, women also have a lower chance of reaching a higher status in their field of work.

There are many reasons as to why this happens.

The little amount of familial time doctors receive and burn out while studying to become a doctor are common. Commonly, women have more pressure to set aside their careers in order to care for a family. This added pressure could cause many women to quit getting their doctorate or move to an easier speciality that is more flexible around family lives. 

More female PV students have expressed their desire to continue their educational career in the medical field. “I have always wanted to be a doctor. I want to be able to help people and live a fulfilling life doing so,” junior Smriti Pallemreddy expressed. 

Pallemreddy is not the only one with dreams of heading into the medical field. Brunson has dreams of becoming an orthopedic surgeon when she grows up. However, she is aware of the gender disparity in the world of medicine. “I’m afraid that when I’m becoming a doctor, I’ll come across lots of sexism because it’s mostly male dominated” 

These newfound studies have revealed Brunson may not have to be as worried because there might be more female doctors in positions of power.

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About the Contributor
Gabi Ragins, Multimedia Manager
Gabi Ragins is a junior at Pleasant Valley High School and currently serves as the Multimedia Manager of Spartan Shield. She enjoys reading her favorite comfort books at whatever coffee shop she is trying out that week. In addition to reading many books, Gabi enjoys making experimental lattes, and she is always on the lookout for new noodle recipes because that’s the only thing she can cook. Amazingly, Gabi does many extracurricular activities including, but not limited to, Girls Learn International, Model Un, Young Women's Group, Students for Political Action, Volleyball, and Track and Field. Outside of school, she holds a job at the Isle Casino, and entertains herself with piano and Sims 4. Most importantly, Gabi can’t wait to help contribute and collaborate with the writers of the Spartan Shield!

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