To explore why women paediatricians have chosen paediatrics as their specialty when previous research has shown that this was the least favourite career option.
In this qualitative study ten semi‐structured interviews with open‐ended questions were carried out. The interviews were taped and transcribed by a professional transcriber. Two tapes could not be transcribed because of technical problems. This dissertation focuses on the responses of the eight women in relation to the research question. Interviews were carried out face‐to‐face. There were no additional questionnaires. Common themes were identified and content analysis used for data analysis.
All the women felt that they had chosen paediatrics because of the good work atmosphere, supportive colleagues and the attraction of working in a multi‐disciplinary team. All had pursued their career in a dedicated way working full‐time for most of their careers. The women paediatricians interviewed were happy with their career but they realised that they had made sacrifices in terms of family and personal commitments. The work environment has to change for everybody, not just for women, to improve quality of life. Career advice is still thought to be poor and many doctors enter a career without knowing what is expected of them. Modernising medical careers will considerably shorten medical training and the time individuals can spend in a particular specialty.
A qualitative study like this can give both male and female students an insight into what it is like to have a career in paediatrics.
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