Junior doctors and undergraduate teaching: the influence of gender on the provision of medical education

David Prichard, Niamh Collins, Mairead Boohan, Catherine Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: International experience has demonstrated that the medical profession is becoming less dominated by men. This "feminization of medicine" has been a topic of much debate in the medical literature. As the gender ratio in the profession changes, it is likely that a greater proportion of undergraduate education will be provided by women. Whether this shift away from the male-dominated provision of medical education will have an effect on undergraduate education is unknown.

PURPOSE: The aim of this research was to clarify whether there are differences between the attitudes and practices of male and female junior doctors regarding the practice of undergraduate teaching.

METHOD: A survey methodology among a cohort of nonconsultant hospital doctors in a major Irish teaching hospital was utilized. The overall response rate was 93%. The cohort held a positive attitude toward teaching undergraduates, and the majority were actively engaged in this activity. Doctors of both genders expressed a willingness to undertake teacher training.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the genders regarding the self-reported quantity of teaching provided to undergraduates. Male doctors perceived themselves as more confident educators when compared to female doctors, but this is likely to reflect cohort demographics in which a greater proportion of male doctors were more senior.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that male and female doctors have similar attitudes toward, and practices in, voluntary undergraduate teaching. As a result, any gender shift in medicine is unlikely to result in a significant change in junior doctors' attitudes toward undergraduate medical education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-60
Number of pages6
JournalTeaching and learning in medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Sex Factors
  • Teaching


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