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Female GPs far more likely to work beyond scheduled hours than male GPs

Exclusive Women are as likely to provide more than ten hours of clinical care a day as men, despite being scheduled for shorter hours, Pulse's GP workload survey has found.

A total of 13.9% female GPs were expecting to complete ten or more clinical hours of clinical work on the day of Pulse's major snapshot survey of almost 1,700 UK GPs - compared with 24.6% of their male counterparts.

However, the same proportion of women actually provided at least ten hours of clinical work (28.6%), as men (28.1%), on the survey day, Monday 11 February.

GP leaders warned female GPs' family commitments may suffer if they are routinely working far longer than their contracted hours.

They also suggested the difference in pay between male and female GPs may be made worse if women work far longer than their scheduled hours.

BMA GP Committee workload lead Dr Farah Jameel said: ‘We know women may be more likely to actively seek out reduced contractual hours due to family and other commitments, so if female GPs are routinely working beyond their structured hours, it can have a real damaging effect on doctors’ wellbeing and home life.

‘And most importantly it will continue to increase the unacceptable gender pay gap, which must be addressed immediately.'

She added: ‘This workload burden will also do nothing to improve the longstanding under-representation of women among GP partners.’

Earlier this year, interim findings from a Government-commissioned report found male GPs earn 33% more than their female counterparts.

It found the gender pay gap in general practice was 'far higher than the average in medicine'.

Pulse's survey findings are based on responses from 1,681 GPs about their day spent in practice on Monday 11 February.

The results showed more than half of GPs say they are working above safe limits, on average completing 11-hour days and dealing with a third more patients than they believe they should be seeing.

Editor's note: We have slightly changed this story to reflect some of the comments. To clarify the issue, male GPs and female GPs are as likely to provide 10 or more hours of clinical care as one another. However, the survey found that half as many women were scheduled to work these hours as men - meaning it is far more likely that women will work beyond their scheduled hours than men

Readers' comments (10)

  • Sorry to be nerdy, but a 0.5% difference between groups (assuming about 800 males and females in respondents) would I guestimate not be statistically significantly different, so I'm wondering at the use of the phrase 'far more likely. Do a chi-squared test and report results please Pulse?

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  • If this study had an equal number of male and females in it, then there would be 840 of one and 841 of the other.
    So that would equate to 236 men and 240 women.
    "Far more likely"? Nonsense!

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  • Hi - just a note on both these comments. We are looking at those scheduled to work 10+ hour days, and those that actually did. As has been pointed out, women and men are as likely to actually work 10+ hours. But women are far more likely to be scheduled to work fewer hours.

    Therefore, women are far more likely to be working beyond their scheduled hours.

  • please-delete-this-fucking-profile-i-cant-delete-it-in-my-account-settings

    what an incredibly divisive and misleading headline. is this difference statistically significant? are there any subject reporting differences between men and women? you jump straight into a narrative of gender inequality when this self reported survey shows an almost trivial 0.5% difference on a pretty small sample and male Drs are routinely committing to do significantly more hours in the first place. what a load of shit. what an utter load of misleading shit

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  • lol the tone of the article seems to want to point to various other external factors when simply the answer to the question of "why?" would suffice. If women choose to work longer than CONTRACTED hours, then surely they have the liberty to do so. If men are more likely to stick to their scheduled hours, then surely they also have the liberty to do so. If you want to achieve "equity" in this, then asking female GPs to be less agreeable, and more conscientious, would again, suffice.

    "BMA GP Committee workload lead Dr Farah Jameel said: ‘And most importantly it will continue to increase the unacceptable gender pay gap, which must be addressed immediately.'

    --- I wonder what Dr Jameel would suggest to address this. As far as I'm aware, we already have gender discriminatory laws in the work place. And every individual negotiates their own terms of partnership. If you can demonstrate pay difference SOLELY down to gender, by all means SUE.

    It all stinks of an ideological agenda of course, and group identity politics...

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  • It seems like pulse has an agenda here. To draw a conclusion from this survey with incomplete data from feb 11th , is misleading. So there is. problem with the systems which needs exploring, if we assume this data to be valid , to tirn it into gender pay gap issue is not the right way forward. Today’s survey 28%are working beyond 10 hrs and in a similar study over 50% GPS reported working mor than 11 hours a day , a few days ago . What to believe ?

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  • And the point of the analysis being ??

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  • I wonder if women / men was replaced with full time / part time. Observation would suggest a part time worker is more likely to work more than their scheduled hours - does your data show that?

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  • Let’s pay women more then because they deserve it

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  • Ludicrous article with a tabloid style headline. That’ll help to divide the profession. Thanks

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  • Beaker has hit the nail on the head. women also more likely part time or less time than men

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