Muhammad Arif


Background: The last few decades have witnessed increased entry of women in the medical workforce both in High and Low income countries. This increased female participation in medicine is often called as ‘feminisation of medicine’. There is not much research available on medical workforce feminisation and its potential consequences in resource constrained countries. This paper analyses Pakistani physicians’ perceptions regarding feminisation of medical workforce and its implications for human resources for health policies and practice in Pakistan.

Materials & Methods: A phenomenological research design was used to conduct thirteen semi-structured telephone interviews with Pakistani physicians to explore their perceptions regarding feminisation of medical workforce and its implications. Both purposive and snow-ball sampling techniques was used. Data analysis was done by using thematic analysis technique.

Results: The main reasons for feminisation are open-merit policy for admission in medical schools, to get good matches and medicine as an acceptable profession for females. There was a difference of perceptions about medical workforce feminisation on the accessibility of medical services in Pakistan. Majority did not agree that more female doctors will increase Pakistani women’s accessibility to doctors, especially in rural areas. This may not happen unless the feminised medical workforce is properly managed and incentivised.

Conclusion: The volume of female doctors in Pakistan is gradually increasing which have important implications for policy and practice of medicine. Research is needed to understand these reasons and to know Pakistan health system’s ability to meet the needs and requirements of females as the main healthcare providers.


Feminisation; Medicine; Female Doctors/ physicians; Pakistan.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.46903/gjms/21.03.1338


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