Saturday, 25 August 2007


The junior doctors on the intensive care unit are a bit of a boy’s club. Just about all the SHOs and registrars are attractive young men, and most of us are single. I’m blogging about this because this is so unusual.

Hospitals are dominated by women. Fact.

The vast majority of the staff in any hospital are female. The nurses, the domestics, the caterers, the admin staff etc… tend to be almost exclusively female. Back in the day, the majority of young doctors were male but that is no longer the case. The gender ratio of new doctors is about 60:40 if favour of women and, going by the relative numbers entering medical school, the ratio is going to swing even further towards the “fairer sex” in the next few years.

This means that, as a young male in the hospital, I am a bit of a commodity and, when I was first starting out, it made things just that little bit easier for me. I could flirt with some nurses, whilst others would want to “mother” me. Some of the patients, especially the older ones, gave me more respect just because I am a man. I remember being on the ward round with my female consultant when I was a house officer and the patient (a lady in her 80s) asked the consultant to be quiet so she could “listen to what the doctor had to say” - and then looked at me.

It’s not all plain sailing and waving my Y-chromosome in the wind though, there are downsides as well. There are the endless conversations about sunbathing and shopping. (I’m still to fathom out the female obsession with shoes – two nurses and a female doctor once managed to have a conversation about heel height for 40 minutes straight – the mind boggles). Discussions about football end up all about the shapeliness of Frank Lampard’s legs or how Wayne Rooney is dead sexy because quote: “he looks like he’d leave you feeling raw afterwards”. And then there’s the expectations that I’ll act as a spokesman for my gender whenever one of the staff got played around or cheated on or dumped.

Overall though, as a junior doctor, the boys get an easier ride than the girls.

However, I’m finding it refreshing working with mainly other men. Men are funnier than women so there’s more banter on the ward. It’s also nice to have conversations at work about blokey things and not have to save it for the pub.

Call it sexist if you want to, but I think the Anaesthetics Boy’s Club (ABC) is definitely a good thing.

1 comment:

Adi said...

haha, I have to totally agree with you there. I remember going to the hospital a few months ago when I broke my left clavicle...hmm basically the whole dept was populated by females, and then there was like one head docter that they were all around talking to...that guy still inspires me..