Background The new junior doctor contract has gained large media attention and has been highly criticised by the medical field with the first full walk out strike to occur in the history of the NHS. With talks of a five-day strike and the acknowledgement that this contract may have adverse affects on women, we wanted to gain a deeper insight into the opinions of doctors and particularly paediatricians.
Aims To find out the opinion of women doctors, especially paediatricians and how they feel about the upcoming junior doctor contract.
Methods A questionnaire consisting of multiple choice and short answer questions was given out to doctors at various training levels including 18 paediatricians. The themes of the questionnaire consisted of a change in the number of women entering medicine or academia/other fields, gender pay gap, patient care and family life.
Results Nearly all responses by doctors believed that the contract would have negative impacts on women. Many thought that there would be a reduction in female doctors entering medicine and it would be ‘…even harder to manage child care…’. All those above junior doctor level supported the strikes. A majority also thought that there would be less women taking time out to enter research. In terms of family life there was also a general consensus that this contract would have adverse effects, one quoted ‘Negative impact on their ability to parent well….’.
Conclusion Most doctors from this study think that the new contract will be disadvantageous to women and add further stresses in terms of childcare.
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