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January 14, 1983

Women in Medicine: Two Points of View I. The Future of Women Physicians

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City.

JAMA. 1983;249(2):207-208. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260025024

I HAVE been carrying on a woman-man dialogue with a colleague of mine who is a woman. Although the number of women in medical schools now constitutes almost one third of students, and at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, it is 45%, my female colleague continues to charge us (the men) with sexism and is convinced that women physicians have not truly achieved equality. Recently, she sent me a note telling me that the problem was that society continued to have certain expectations of women, and even though we men claim that women have achieved equality, we act toward women in medicine in such a way that the women respond by playing back to our expectations and thus entrap themselves. That expectation repeats the housekeeper image, the stove-and-diaper-tending image, and women remain trapped because of this social expectation.

The fact is that in the field of medicine, the significant