“Le plus scandaleux du scandale c’est de s’y habituer” Simone de Beauvoir

One of the more irritating and at the same time pressing issues that we have to quickly correct in most of our health care delivery systems – not only to stop the “hemorrhage” of so many disillusioned professionals into early retirement that we just cannot afford to continue unabated, but also to promote the recruitment of younger cadres as well – is the thorny issue of Gender Inequality in pay scales and benefits. And let us make a point very clear from the start. It not only affects our women colleagues but, us men, too. We cannot expect to have a congenial workplace if whomever is daily working shoulder to shoulder with us is being paid less than we are for an otherwise totally similar task.

On what grounds does this scandalous state of affairs stand?

A teeny-weeny detail: she is a woman. She is being fined with the vagina penalty.

In our new book Emotional Frustration – the hushed plague we have extensively discussed the various forms of financial and economic discrimination that our dear women are being subjected to, even in our supposedly much more egalitarian times. We will discuss this issue many more times in this series but today we are showing you what we wrote about the inequality in the British National Health Service (NHS)

“In May 2018 the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care did a study on gender equality in the NHS [i], led by Professor Dame Jane Acre; it used data from 10 years of electronic records of 16,000 general practitioners and 96,000 trust physicians. They found that the gender gap was 17% based on total pay, which contributes to the overall 23% NHS pay gap. “Male doctors are earning 1.17 pounds for every pound earned by female doctors in the NHS, and new data reveals that women are still not represented in equal proportions in senior medical grades, with nearly 32,000 male consultants to just 18,000 females. The General Practice gender gap is 33%, which is far higher than the average in medicine.” [ii]

Even though half of the physicians in training were female, only a third of the most coveted positions were held by women—18,000 women in a total of 32,000 consultants. They were disproportionately present in lower-paying specialties like Dermatology, compared to the higher number of men in higher-paying ones like Surgery. The same study showed that the demands of motherhood and the burden of irregular working hours seriously harmed their career advancement. [iii]

If this abject pay scale disparity for men and women can occur in a supposedly modern society that had recognized the societal value of equitable access for Health Care, what can we expect of other less enlightened ones?  We, the XY-healers, know that our female peers often work much harder than we do. Noblesse oblige.”

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

[i] https://www.gov.uk/govenment/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care

[ii] Laura Butler, “Male doctors earn 1,17 pounds for every pound earned by female doctors”, Press release, March 29, 2019. https://www.surrey.ac.uk/news/male-doctors-earn-ps117-every-ps1-earned-female-doctors

[iii] Denis Campbell, “Male NHS doctors earn 17% more than their female peers”, The Guardian, March 28, 2019.


13 thoughts on “Physician and Nurse burn-out – Part IV Vagina penalty

  1. Good morning Dr. Sahib.

    From the experience of present times when the COVID-19 virus is taking toll, here both the male and the female staff is working round the clock and when there are gender related biases, it speaks volumes about the state of affairs of our health department.

    You have rightly elaborated the genesis of this all in your write-up which needs to be addressed,

    I am sure you may be very busy dealing with your patients the way the virus is spreading. In India too we are in lockdown mode sitting at our homes with our families.

    With warm regards


    1. Good morning and thanks for your kind commentary, my dear spiritual friend across the oceans. Yes, as a health care provider, I do not have the luxury to stay at home but I have a limited schedule with hardly any contact with patients, as I supervise the work of other physicians and nurses mostly now. Thank God we decided to go to Columbia University almost 25 years ago to study both Master and Doctoral degrees in Health Policy and Management, which has technically enabled this parallel, fulfilling and much safer career as a medical consultant nowadays. The tremendous financial and personal sacrifice of my family and I has paid off handsomely. A big hug. Arrivederci.

      1. Good morning Dr. Sahib,

        Those who work for the wellbeing of the society at large are the gems of our society and are ingrained traits of head and heart by our Lord to take care of the hapless citizenry.

        In fact the medical intervention can make much difference while the situation around the world is really very critical.

        With regards


      2. Good morning and thanks for your nice commentary, my dear spiritual friend across the oceans. yes, the medical interventions can make a big difference in people’s lives, now much more than ever. There are thousands upon thousands of physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, laboratory technicians, radiologists, nursing home assistants, clerks, etc. that are risking their lives right now for the sake of us all.
        Coup de chapeau pour tous eux!

      3. GOOD MORNING Dr. Sahib.

        This is in fact a gigantic task for our medical community to handle, work hard to contain the pandemic virus In this there is a huge risk to these professionals; hope everything goes on well.


      4. Good morning and thank you for your nice commentary, my dear spiritual friend across the oceans. Having closely worked with Indian expatriate physicians during my medical training in New York City, I can attest personally to the outstanding proficiency and dedication of almost all the graduates of Indian Medical Schools. Perhaps one of the few positive legacies of the British Raj has been the foundation of excellent sites of learning and training. However, I am still a little worried about the lack of basic sanitary infrastructure in the countryside, which might exacerbate the epidemic. I trust that Prime Minister Modi and the rest of the New Delhi political class will set political distractions aside and focus on the needs of the majority of Indians.
        A big hug. Arrivederci.

      5. Good morning Dr. Sahib.

        Thanks a lot for appreciating the India medical professionals.

        As far as the sanitary condition of our rural area is concerned, iit is better than what our cities are having since the air is cleaner, there is more greenery, the crops in the fields and the forest cover around the villages give it cleaner air and cleaner environment. I know it since I am originally from village back ground.

        Lets see how it all pans out. I pray to God for His mercies.


      6. Please do not forget to read and comment my blog titled “Is this coronavirus pandemic a divine punishment for our sins? Thank you.

      7. Good morning Dr. Sahib,

        All the medical community is serving the humanity. Now they are proving to be the God’s angels.

        May their services pay dividends.


      8. Good morning Dr. Sahib.

        Our thanks from the core of our heart for the services rendered to the humanity as a whole – really a most dedicated, a commitment most laudable and most relevant.


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