Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Richard Restak: World Needs More Women in Medicine

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Richard Restak: World Needs More Women in Medicine

Article excerpt

What the world needs is more women in medicine, says Richard Restak, a Washington, D.C., neurologist. And it may get them - sooner than expected.

Restak is one writer who applauds the trend. Not only will women bring more compassion to the practice of medicien, he suggests, they also are willing to work for less money and that means lower health care costs.

The doctor-writer postulates an interesting thesis:

Women (and some men) entering medical schools today are mroe flexible, tend to settle for less autonomy and gravitate far more easily toward salaried positions. In short, their personalities and motivations are vastly different from those of the men who have dominated the profession for so long.

"Put at its baldest," says Restak, "the profession seems less attractive to individuals - men or women - who possess a strongly independent or entrepreneurial streak. With few exceptions, the medical students I come into contact with look forward to practicing in a group, or working as members of a prepaid health or as salaried employees of a large health care corporation."

Working in such an environment, the new doctors trade off a bundle of headaches - overhead and insurance, for example - while pocketing less money. But, even in those circumstances, the new doctorscan make as much as $90,000 a year, according to Restak.

In the next decade, he predicts, medicine will shift from a male-dominated profession toward a female-dominated profession. And that, he insists, "might be a very good thing."

As more women enter medicine, he argues, costs can be more easily controlled. Others apparently share this view.

Some authorities have said that 50 percent or more of the nation's physicians will be working at straight salary by the year 2000. During the same period, the number in solo practice is expected tomake up only 25 percent of all doctors. …

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