Has anyone noticed? Four of the current Royal College Presidents are female.

Hopefully many have noticed that the current incumbents of the Presidential seats in four of the Royal Colleges are women – or not? Is this just chance or is there a change in the air? When I recently showed a slide of the photos of these 4 Royal College Presidents to a group of specially selected talented young doctors on a leadership development programme only two of the approximately 30 participants recognised two faces. Disappointing but perhaps to be expected – how many doctors have the time or interest in reading about who’s who and what’s going on in the world of medicine, in the colleges or in the NHS? Maybe the Presidents should get out more or at the very least get their PR machines in to action.

We have known about the feminization of medicine for some years and recent figures attest to the fact that the “Face of UK medicine is changing” (GMC, 2014). Female medical students outnumber their male counterparts (54% to 46%); 49% of GPs are female; more females continue to take up training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (79%) and in Paediatrics (74%), and finally, the number of females entering surgery and emergency medicine is on the rise. Surely that means that more females will eventually take up roles as medical managers and it won’t be unusual enough to be newsworthy? The role models and the facts are encouraging.

by Dr. Megan Joffe