Tuesday, February 01, 2005
I have been wondering for some time about women in medicine.
I graduated from med school in 1971 in a class of 120 men and 7 women.
My father-in-law graduated from the same school in 1929 in a class that
had no women. I'm sure that in his day the admissions committee members
would have been quite candid about expressing their opinions that women
were innately unfit to be physicians. In may era, the committee members
would have told you that women were fit to be physicians but they were
likely to be less productive.
By 1975, med school classes were 20-30% women ( by my recollection .)
Now there is parity.I don't remember much external pressure. Do you know how these changes came about? I think the same thing happened in law schools over a similar time frame. Will it really be a surprise if we see it happen in math and engineering? When I was in grade and high school, there were some real smart girls in my arithmatic classes.
Yeah, how did that happen? When I was a teenager in the late 1970's, and I began to dream of going into medicine, my father tried his best to discourage me. I seem to recall him saying, "Who would want to go to a woman doctor?" But, by the time I entered medical school in 1984, women made up almost 50% of medical school classes nationwide. What happened in those years between 1976 and 1984? Well, the women from the medical school classes of 1975 had come into professional maturity. Just by being there they made it possible for other, younger women to realize they, too, could become physicians.
There's no reason a similar phenomenon can't happen in the hard sciences. We've got Dr. Barbie. Will we have mathematician Barbie? (Oh, she's already here!)
posted by Sydney on 2/01/2005 10:25:00 PM 0 comments