The career outcomes for doctors completing general practice vocational training 1990-1995.
BACKGROUND: While much has been published about the career outcomes of doctors who completed general practice vocational training prior to 1990, no evidence is currently available about those who have qualified since that time. AIM: To obtain information about the career paths of doctors who had completed general practice vocational training since 1990, and to compare the results with previously published data. METHOD: Postal questionnaire survey of all doctors completing vocational training during the period 1990-1995 in three regions of the United Kingdom. The study examined current work status, career path since completion of training, desire for and experience of part-time training, degree of difficulty in choosing and following a career, and the degree to which certain factors impeded career choice. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 64.8%, although there was a significant difference between the response rates for men and women. While virtually all responders were employed, with the majority working in general practice, women were significantly less likely than men to be working as principals in general practice, for all cohorts. These results were very similar to those cohorts described in earlier studies. The career paths of doctors only became stable after about four years. Of those working in general practice, about 20% found it difficult to choose their career, and about 10% found it difficult to follow their career. Out-of-hours work was the major factor impeding career choice. CONCLUSION: Although they are taking longer to reach, the final career destinations of doctors completing vocational training since 1990 are no different from those of earlier cohorts. (+info
Library residencies and internships as indicators of success: evidence from three programs.
This paper discusses post-master's degree internships in three very different organizations; the University of Illinois at Chicago, the National Library of Medicine, and the Library of Congress. It discusses the internships using several questions. Do the programs serve as a recruitment strategy? Do the programs develop key competencies needed by the participant or organization? Do the programs develop leaders and managers? Is acceptance into a program an indicator of future career success? A survey was mailed to 520 persons who had completed internships in one of the three programs. There was a 49.8% response rate. Responses to fifty-four questions were tabulated and analyzed for each program and for the total group. The results confirm the value of internships to the career of participants. (+info
Human resource development: the management, planning and training of health personnel.
The morale of health personnel is fast becoming the major factor affecting both the sustainability and the quality of health care world-wide. Low morale mirrors problems ranging from declining balance of payments allocation to GNP, and a lack of support for the health system from the very top down to the rigid application of national pay, grading and career structures, and the stress of not being able to do the job properly. While many of these and other problems have been voiced again and again in the press and in the academic literature, much of the work on health manpower development has focused on the planning and production of personnel. This has been with the aim of producing specific categories of better-trained health workers with relevant qualifications, resulting in a heavy emphasis on a quantitative output. In this paper it is argued that the management of health personnel, the qualitative aspect of staff development, has been relatively neglected. Unless and until the management of human resource development receives the attention it needs, seeds of discontent, disillusion and dissatisfaction will ultimately lead to national health services losing their competitiveness as employers. The sustainability and quality of health programmes will then be in even greater jeopardy than they are at present. The planning, production and management components of health manpower development have developed haphazardly as verticle activities. A new term such as 'human resource development; the management of health personnel' might help ensure the concept of an integrated process contingent on economic, political, organizational and other important circumstances. (+info
Determinants of career structure and advancement among Italian cardiologists. An example of segregation and discrimination against women? SCIC Group. Studio Condizione Italiana Cardiologi.
AIMS: The aim of this study was to analyse the processes through which job, career and research-related choices are determined in Italian cardiology, focusing on characteristics such as productivity, gender and family. METHODS AND RESULTS: In June 1996, a questionnaire surveying individual and career-related data was mailed to all members (8000) of the Italian societies of cardiology. Returned questionnaires numbered 1715 (21.4% of the total mailed), 83% were completed by men and 17% by women. For both hospital and academic careers, advancement in rank was influenced by variables denoting productivity, family and individual characteristics. However, men and women showed slightly different patterns. CONCLUSIONS: Promotion to the upper ranks of the hierarchy was highly dependent upon time (once the effects of the covariates were eliminated). This situation is typical of the internal labour market, that is, in institutions in which staff members are ranked on a hierarchical scale according to formal criteria that are 'rigid' and institutionalized, partially sheltered from competition. Therefore, once a member has gained access to the bottom of the hierarchy, the professional career is 'pre-determined' and seniority has an appreciable influence on promotion decisions; in this context, women appear to be at a disadvantage. (+info
Women physicians in academic medicine: new insights from cohort studies.
BACKGROUND: I conducted a study to determine whether women who graduate from medical schools are more or less likely than their male counterparts to pursue full-time careers in academic medicine and to advance to the senior ranks of medical school faculties. METHODS: The rates of advancement to the ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor for all U.S. medical school graduates from 1979 through 1993 and for all members of U.S. medical school faculties from 1979 through 1997 were studied. Cohorts were defined on the basis of the year of graduation from medical school, track (tenure or nontenure), and academic department. Within each cohort, the number of women who advanced to a senior rank was compared with the number that would be expected on the basis of parity between men and women, and 95 percent confidence intervals were calculated. RESULTS: Women were significantly more likely than men to pursue an academic career. During the study period, 634 more women became faculty members than expected. The numbers were higher in the older cohorts than in the younger cohorts. The numbers of women who advanced to the ranks of associate and full professor were significantly lower than the expected numbers. This was true for both tenure and nontenure tracks, even after adjustment for the department. A total of 334 fewer women advanced to associate professor than expected, and 44 fewer women advanced to full professor than expected. CONCLUSIONS: Disparities persist in the advancement of men and women on medical school faculties. However, the numbers of women physicians at all levels of academic medicine are increasing. (+info
Women in hospital medicine in the United Kingdom: glass ceiling, preference, prejudice or cohort effect?
OBJECTIVE: To assess from official statistics whether there is evidence that the careers of women doctors in hospitals do not progress in the same way as those of men. DESIGN: The proportions of female hospital doctors overall (1963-96), and in the specialties of medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, pathology, radiology/radiotherapy, anaesthetics and psychiatry (1974-1996) were examined. Additionally data were examined on career preferences and intentions from pre-registration house officers, final year medical students, and medical school applicants (1966-1991). ANALYSIS: Data were analysed according to cohort of entry to medical school to assess the extent of disproportionate promotion. RESULTS: The proportion of women in hospital career posts was largely explained by the rapidly increasing proportion of women entering medical school during the past three decades. In general there was little evidence for disproportionate promotion of women in hospital careers, although in surgery, hospital medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology, fewer women seemed to progress beyond the SHO grade, and in anaesthetics there were deficits of women at each career stage. Analyses of career preferences and intentions suggest that disproportionate promotion cannot readily be explained as differential choice by women. CONCLUSIONS: Although there is no evidence as such of a "glass ceiling" for women doctors in hospital careers, and the current paucity of women consultants primarily reflects historical trends in the numbers of women entering medical school, there is evidence in some cases of disproportionate promotion that is best interpreted as direct or indirect discrimination. (+info
Doctors who kill themselves: a study of the methods used for suicide.
Medical practitioners have a relatively high rate of suicide. Death entry data for doctors who died by suicide or undetermined cause between 1979 and 1995 in England and Wales were used to compare methods used for suicide by doctors with those used by the general population. Methods used were analysed according to gender, occupational status and speciality, to assess the extent to which access to dangerous means influences the pattern of suicide. Self-poisoning with drugs was more common in the doctors than in general population suicides (57% vs. 26.6%; OR=3.65, 95% CI 2.85-4. 68), including in retired doctors. Barbiturates were the most frequent drugs used. Half of the anaesthetists who died used anaesthetic agents. Self-cutting was also more frequently used as a method of suicide. The finding that the greater proportion of suicide deaths in doctors were by self-poisoning may reflect the fact that doctors have ready access to drugs, and have knowledge of which drugs and doses are likely to cause death. The specific finding that a large proportion of suicides in anaesthetists involved anaesthetic agents supports this explanation. Availability of method may be a factor contributing to the relatively high suicide rate of doctors. This fact might influence clinical management of doctors who are known to be depressed or suicidal. (+info
Recruitment and retention of general practitioners in the UK: what are the problems and solutions?
Recruitment and retention of general practitioners (GPs) has become an issue of major concern in recent years. However, much of the evidence is anecdotal and some commentators continue to question the scale of workforce problems. Hence, there is a need to establish a clear picture of those instabilities (i.e. imbalances between demand and supply) that do exist in the GP labour market in the UK. Based on a review of the published literature, we identify problems that stem from: (i) the changing social composition of the workforce and the fact that a large proportion of qualified GPs are significantly underutilized within traditional career structures; and (ii) the considerable differences in the ability of local areas to match labour demand and supply. We argue that one way to address these problems would be to encourage greater flexibility in a number of areas highlighted in the literature: (i) time commitment across the working day and week; (ii) long-term career paths; (iii) training and education; and (iv) remuneration and contract conditions. Overall, although the evidence suggests that the predicted 'crisis' has not yet occurred in the GP labour market as a whole, there is no room for lack of imagination in planning terms. Workforce planners continue to emphasize national changes to the medical school intake as the means to balance labour demand and supply between the specialities; however, better retention and deployment of existing GP labour would arguably produce more effective supply-side solutions. In this context, current policy and practice developments (e.g. Primary Care Groups and Primary Care Act Pilot Sites) offer a unique learning base upon which to move forward. (+info