University of Tasmania

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Women general practitioners in Australia

posted on 2023-05-26, 01:38 authored by Kilmartin, MR
This thesis addresses the key issues in the professional and non-professional lives of women general practitioners (WGPs) in Australia. It investigates their socio-political place within in the medical profession, organisations and Colleges particularly relating to General Practice and leads on to proposals that may ameliorate the dominant masculine culture that pervades the medical profession. The investigation comprised a Delphi Study involving 40 WGPs and semi-structured interviews with 25 eminent General Practitioners (15 women, 10 men), both components including a breadth of geographical and work-backgrounds. The two studies were underpinned by relevant literature, history and sociological theory. The Delphi Study highlighted the value of the whole-person concept and identified key issues that affect the professional and non-professional lives of WGPs. Developing satisfying relationships with partners and children and preserving their health and wellbeing were of primary importance to WGPs as wives, mothers and professionals. The women sought job satisfaction and most displayed distinctively non-masculine models of work. Male domination was evident in all aspects of the lives of the WGPs taking part in this study. Interviews with the eminent GPs highlighted the existence of masculine power and patriarchy in the hierarchical structures of organisations of General Practice and in the General Practice environment. These interviews also provided insights to how the WGPs coped with the inequities they encountered. It is concluded that we cannot examine the professional life ofWGPs in isolation and problems of gender equity in the medical profession must be recognised as a first step towards their rectification. The thesis highlights the problems faced by WGPs in Australia and provides proposals for fostering a culture of inclusivity of both sexes in medical practice. There are indications that generational change will bring improvements to domestic problems and inappropriate work professional practices together with a culture inclusive of both male and female GPs.


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Copyright 2006 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Appendix 17 is a published article and it has been removed from volume 2 - see URL link

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