being a woman stops reaching high positions

Beatriz García, Sofía Haselgruber, Olalla Batres and Belén Rodríguez on the Medical Writing set.

Although Spanish healthcare is among the most feminized in Europe, the data continue to confirm an unequal reality. Men triple the number of women in senior medical positions and the salary gender gap is present at all stages of the medical career. Therefore, in order to address this problem on International Women’s Day, Sophia Haselgruber, Belen Rodriguez and Beatrice Garciawomen who have stood out in the MIR exam 2022 for getting three of the top ten scores, they visit the set of Medical Writing.

The doctors, who are about to kick off their professional careers, look to the future with optimism. They think that the world of medicine is moving in the right directionbut, nevertheless, there is still a long way to go.

During the study of the degree, have you perceived any type of sexist behavior?

Beatriz García: “We are more women in hospitals, more women in faculties and, of course, more women in the MIR”.

Beatriz García, number 4 of the MIR 2022: There are always certain comments and attitudes that leave something to be desired. The authority granted to a male doctor is not the same as that of a woman: they are treated as you, while we are treated as “pretty” or “pretty”. However, in the first person I have not received that treatment, which is positive.

Sofía Haselgruber, number 1 of the MIR 2022: No doctor or patient has discriminated against me or made me look down for being a woman, but other colleagues have told me sexist experiences.

Belén Rodríguez, number 3 of the MIR 2022: I have not experienced it in the first person, but I have been told cases. Therefore, these situations exist, but I think it is positive that we have not experienced them in the first person.

Do you think that medical women continue to receive different treatment or a devaluation of their capacity?

Beatrice Garcia: I think it is a fairly widespread feeling among us that we have to be demonstrating what we know. In short, we have to show that we are up to the task. Women are completely valid, like a male partner.

Belén Rodríguez: “It is positive that we have not experienced sexist situations firsthand.”

Belen Rodriguez: In general, I don’t think these situations are repeated a lot. In addition, I think that in Spain, with respect to other countries, we are very advanced. My aunt, who works as a doctor in Germany, has always had more problems in this aspect and she has felt that she underestimated her.

Sofia Haselgruber: I believe that there are still patients, doctors and people who give less value to a woman in the field of Science and Medicine. But we are moving on the right path.

Haselgruber: “We cannot study the ‘normality’ of men and apply it to women in all situations”

Why is it still news that three women are among the top ten marks in the MIR exam?

Belen Rodriguez: It doesn’t happen often and I don’t know why.

Beatrice Garcia: I think it is still news because Medicine and Science have always been seen as a world of men. We are seeing that this is not the case. We are more women in hospitals, more women in faculties and, of course, more women in the MIR. It is logical that this ends up being reflected.

Sofia Haselgruber: “I keep seeing children impact women’s careers; it’s the hard way.”

Sofia Haselgruber: I have two perspectives. On the one hand, the fact that a woman is number one in the MIR continues to be news reflects that she still has a long way to go. When number one is a man, you don’t make news like that. I think it is more than proven that women can get the best grades from the MIR. But, on the other hand, the value of women is being recognized and made visible.

Should the subjects taught in Medicine be subject to a review?

Beatrice Garcia: I think that we should rethink how certain issues are addressed because there is an underdiagnosis in women. I also believe that there are still certain taboos in diseases or aspects that only affect women, such as reproductive health, menopause or menstruation. We still have a long way to go on this issue.

Belen Rodriguez: It is always good to rethink the topics and adapt them. That ’emptiness’ has never caught my attention during the race.

Sofia Haselgruber: If Science has shown that there are differences in pathologies and pharmacokinetics between men and women, we should study them. We cannot study the ‘normality’ of men and apply it to women in all situations. There is always talk of a Medicine that adapts to the patient, so it is necessary to truly adapt.

García: “The gap is caused by issues of family reconciliation because women continue to assume the role of caregiver”

Are you afraid that the fact of being a woman could be an impediment in the development of your professional career?

Beatrice Garcia: I hope not. I do not think that the fact of being a woman is a factor that could affect the development of my professional career. Yes, it is true that, when entering the world of work, a series of aspects come to mind for women that men do not, such as motherhood, both at work and social and economic levels.

Belen Rodriguez: It is not a fear that I have. I think it is improving in that sense, so I think it is positive not to feel afraid. However, there are aspects to improve.

Sofia Haselgruber: If it were only for being a woman, I don’t think I would have too many problems to achieve a good professional career. The problem is having children. Although much is being improved on the issue of conciliation and equitable distribution of tasks, we are not at 50-50. I continue to see that children have an impact on women’s careers; it’s the hard way. Why does it have to be the difficult road to have children and want to move up in the workplace? Why if I don’t have children is it easier?

Beatriz García, Sofía Haselgruber, Olalla Batres and Belén Rodríguez.

Men triple the number of women in senior medical positions. Why does feminization not permeate management positions?

Beatrice Garcia: Women are a ‘younger’ group, with less professional experience, so in the future it is worth being optimistic. If this is really the reason, these differences will disappear. However, the experience of different heads of service shows that being a woman is a determining factor when it comes to reaching high positions.

Sofia Haselgruber: To be head of Service you have to have a resume that goes back many years. Twenty years ago, the situation of women was not the same as it is now. I think that the women who are beginning to build this curriculum now will have an easier time, so in the future there will be more women in managerial positions. I also think that the fact that a woman has a greater burden of care has repercussions.

Belen Rodriguez: Today’s bosses are older and have had more time to carve out their careers. Before, the mentality was different and we have to wait for the changes to consolidate. Measures are being taken, so I am confident in the future.

Rodríguez: “In public health there shouldn’t be any salary gap; it’s quite serious”

The salary gender gap is present at all stages of the medical career. According to the latest data, despite being the majority in this sector, women earn 37 percent less than men. Is it something you have in mind?

Belen Rodriguez: In public health there should be no gap. It’s pretty serious.

Sofia Haselgruber: It seems that the base salary is the same, but the difference is in the supplements, shifts and overtime. It’s business as usual: it’s more likely that a woman can’t work as many overtime hours or that she asks for a reduction in working hours for care. There is the wage gap; a man has more time to devote to work.

Beatrice Garcia: The gap is due to family reconciliation issues. The woman continues to assume the role of caregiver. These are very large differences and, although measures are being applied, there is still much to be done in this regard. I hope that as the man assumes responsibility for himself, which he is already doing, this will even out.

Beatriz García, Sofía Haselgruber, Olalla Batres and Belén Rodríguez on the Medical Writing set.

Finally, on a day as marked on the calendar as 8-M, how can we make the health sector more egalitarian?

Belen Rodriguez:

I think there are many things that can be done, such as continuing to take conciliation measures. We have a great role because there have been very valuable women who have opened a path that we must continue.

Beatrice Garcia: I think we still have a lot to work on and that we will continue to do so. It is positive that, on days like today, we reveal data that is unknown. One of the fundamental pillars is education.

Sofia Haselgruber: I would like to end with a reflection by María Luisa Rebolledo Deschamps: she says that there must be legislative changes, which must be accompanied by changes in mentality. And those changes in mentality are achieved with educational changes. Putting only the laws is useless; we have to have an informed population.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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