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CAMHS won't see you now

Confessions of a sex addict

By Emily Wright

Significant numbers of female GPs believe general practice is institutionally sexist and their role is not properly recognised.

More than two out of five female GPs who responded to the Pulse Gender Gap survey felt they were not given a fair deal at work.

Some 43 per cent said the profession was institutionally sexist, with half saying they had been subjected to sexist comments at work.

Comments submitted by women GPs ranged from insults relating to pregnancy and maternity leave to accusations that they shirked work and were poor doctors.

But most women felt their own practice was fair, with 71 per cent saying it properly appreciated their contribution.

The response from women contrasted markedly with male GPs. Only 18 per cent of male GPs said the profession was sexist and 70 per cent said women doctors were given a fair deal.

The findings of the survey of 219 GPs follow a Pulse investigation that found significant under-representation of women GPs in positions of power in the profession.

Dr Parineeta Bilagi, a GP in Sunbury, Middlesex, said men were in no position to say that sexism did not exist within the profession because they were not the ones experiencing it. 'These men will get married, and their wives will have to take time off work to look after their kids.'

Dr Sally Thomas, a GP from Manchester, said she had been asked if she planned to have any more children and if so, if it was completely necessary.

Male GPs replies ranged from indignant to unapologetic.

Dr Antoni Wiejak, a GP in Barrow-in-Furness, said: 'What women would see as sexist, men would probably take as a compliment.'

Dr Jaiker Kumble, a GP in Birmingham, said he could understand women GPs' anger at disapproval of them going on maternity leave, but appreciated male GPs' frustration at having to cover extra work.

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