Female doctor trainees at University of Nairobi opt for ‘soft’ specialties – study

By Gatonye Gathura

Female trainees at Kenya’s top medical school are choosing family friendly specializations while most of their male counterparts go for options perceived as prestigious such as surgery.

While some evidence indicates many women would like to be attended to by a female gynecologist a recent study at Nairobi School of Medicine of the University of Nairobi says women are not taking up the profession.

The female students were eight times likely to select paediatrics while most keeping away from surgery and gynaecology. “Paediatrics was selected due to ease of raising a family,” says the study published last month in the scientific journal BMC Medical Education.

On the other hand males were most likely to select surgery as a career because of the ‘perceived prestige of the specialty.’

Men, the study carried out by a team from Kenya Medical Research Institute and the James P. Grant School of Public Health of India were more likely to choose gynaecology because of its perceived monetary gains.

Further findings indicate female students were four times more likely to have originated from an urban area than male students. Also female students were less likely to be government sponsored when compared to male students.

Rocket Science

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