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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Action plan to get female GPs smiling

Despite being a growing proportion of the medical workforce, women are not appreciated ­ five GPs named in the New Year Honours and only one female!

In 2001 the intake of UK medical schools was 57 per cent female and the trend is upward. The gap between the number of women entering medicine and those achieving medical academics has to be addressed. Creative thinking and forward planning is all that is required from us female GPs. Here is my five-point action plan.

 · Shake up the practice and allocate various responsibilities. Spread the workload and don't be unfairly burdened.

 · The demands of the new contract mean we get stuck in the surgery trying to work out how to score maximum points when we should be thinking about developments in the community, for example how to develop community nursing.

 · Take a lead role in primary care organisation. The future of the NHS depends on making PCOs effective commissioners.

 · We are severely under-represented in academic medicine as clinical researchers, heads of departments, professors, deans or tutors.

 · Demand and ensure childcare provision is available.

Hopefully some of us will be smiling next year.

Dr Anita Sharma


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