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General practice better for doctor in family way

Women doctors are choosing general practice over hospitals to enable them to pursue a career and raise a family. Research has shown 81 per cent of female GPs have had children compared with only 49 per cent of female hospital doctors. The study in this month's Family Practice also found GPs used childcare for 23 per cent less time than hospital doctors.

Dr Helen Roberts had her first child while she was a hospital doctor but switched careers soon after. She said: 'Doing house jobs with a baby was very difficult. The flexibility of the hours in general practice did influence my decision.' But Dr Roberts, a part-time principal in Farnham, Surrey, said women hospital doctors did not face the same problem finding locums.

A quarter of women GPs who responded to the survey said they felt emotional, stressed, tired or guilty because of conflicts between career and family.

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