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Title: The inter-relationship between professional life and family life : the case of hospital consultants in one health region in the United Kingdom
Author: Dumelow, Carol
ISNI:       0000 0001 3434 4563
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis examines gender differences in the inter-relationship between professional life and family life of hospital consultants. Data generated from 202 semi-structured interviews with NHS hospital consultants aged forty to fifty years working in South Thames Region during 1995 were used to explore the relationship between a hospital medical career and family life for men and women working in different medical specialities. This thesis examines how men and women who have achieved consultant grade in Hospital Medicine have managed the relationship between their work and home life. The relationship between a medical career and family life for hospital consultants was closely interlinked, particularly for women consultants. This was associated with the pattern of women consultants' careers in terms of horizontal segregation within specialities (i.e. more women in psychiatry and anaesthetics, less women in surgery) and vertical segregation within the consultant grade. Three types of work/family relationship adopted by consultants to manage the interface between work and family were identified. These showed that the majority of male and female consultants have 'segregated' work and family relationships, although female consultants were more likely than male consultants to have a 'career dominant' or an 'accommodating' work/family relationship. These strategies had a different outcome on family life and on involvement in professional life for male and female consultants and adoption of different strategies were strongly influenced by both domestic and organisational constraints. A 'segregated' strategy was the most successful strategy for women consultants in terms of career progression and quality of home life, but was the least satisfactory for male consultants. Men who adopted an 'accommodating' strategy were the most satisfied with their work/family relationship, although they were less successful in their careers than men with 'segregated' work/family relationships. A 'career dominant' work/family relationship was the most successful strategy in terms of career, but least successful in terms of family life, for both male and female consultants. Male orientated working practices and hospital medical culture had a greater detrimental effect on the family building patterns of women than men, however these factors were perceived to be detrimental to the family life of both male and female consultants. This thesis proposes that current changes to specialist medical training (Department of Health, 1993) need to be accompanied by a change in the culture, attitudes and practices in Hospital Medicine, which will benefit all doctors, not just women. These changes need to recognise that both male and female doctors have families and need time for personal and family life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medical profession; Gender