The number of women practicing medicine in the United States has grown steadily since the late 1960s, with women now roughly at parity with men among entering medical students. Why did so many women enter American medicine? How are women faring, professionally and personally, once they become physicians? Are women transforming the way medicine is practiced? To answer these questions, The Changing Face of Medicine draws on a wide array of sources, including interviews with women physicians and surveys of medical students and practitioners. The analysis is set in the twin contexts of a rapidly evolving medical system and profound shifts in gender roles in American society.
Throughout the book, Ann K. Boulis and Jerry A. Jacobs critically examine common assumptions about women in medicine. For example, they find that women's entry into medicine has less to do with the decline in status of the profession and more to do with changes in women's roles in contemporary society. Women physicians' families are becoming more and more like those of other working women. Still, disparities in terms of specialty, practice ownership, academic rank, and leadership roles endure, and barriers to opportunity persist. Along the way, Boulis and Jacobs address a host of issues, among them dual-physician marriages, specialty choice, time spent with patients, altruism versus materialism, and how physicians combine work and family.
Women's presence in American medicine will continue to grow beyond the 50 percent mark, but the authors question whether this change by itself will make American medicine more caring and more patient centered. The future direction of the profession will depend on whether women doctors will lead the effort to chart a new course for health care delivery in the United States.
About the Author
Ann K. Boulis is Research Associate in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Jerry A. Jacobs is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Revolving Doors and coauthor, most recently, of The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality.
Table of Contents
2 Feminization of an Evolving Profession
3 Applying for Change
4 The Gendered Map of Contemporary Medicine
5 Gender, Sorting, and Tracking
6 Work, Family, Marriage, and Generational Change
7 Women Physicians Caring for Patients
8 Medicine as a Family-Friendly Profession?
9 Conclusion: A Prognosis for Gender and Medical CareAppendix
What People are Saying About This
"I have seen firsthand how one mother struggled with the delicate balance between work and family and now, more than three decades later, I can truly appreciate the obstacles she overcame. Today, I wonder if it will be any better for my two daughters. Ann K. Boulis and Jerry A. Jacobs have written a must-read for any woman considering the medical profession! It will also make men sit up and take notice."
"'This well-conceived and soundly organized book makes an important contribution to our understanding of a range of gender aspects of the past, present and future of American medicine. It will be of interest to a wide audience, from social scientists and health policy makers to physicians, medical students, and other health professionals."
"This comprehensive and illuminating report on the current status of women physicians and their impact on American medicine will surprise and educate you. Health care teachers, students, and researchers will want to read this book and mine it for important data on gender and medical care in the United States today."
"In The Changing Face of Medicine, Ann K. Boulis and Jerry A. Jacobs draw on a compelling mix of hard data and personal anecdote to provide a clear and comprehensive analysis of how women as physicians shape the practice of medicine, and in turn, how the practice of medicine shapes these women."
"Over the past quarter century medicine has experienced a gender revolution with the number of medical school entrants among young women now nearly equaling that of men. In this impressive and beautifully written book, Ann Boulis and Jerry Jacobs use both quantitative data and rich in-depth interviews to understand the cause of this transformation and to understand how women have changed the way medicine is practiced. As they document the pathways women pursue to become physicians, they challenge the conventional wisdom that gender differences in medicine result from choices of individual women and instead show how gendered institutions channel women's specialty choices and type of practice. The Changing Face of Medicine is a marvelous contribution to gender studies and medical sociology."