Girls can be doctors, but what about boys?

Disney’s ‘Doc McStuffins’ is a “cure for the common stereotype,” according to  the New York Times, which praises the cartoon for featuring a six-year-old black girl who aspires to be a doctor.

Her mother is a doctor (Dad stays home and tends the garden), and the girl emulates her by opening a clinic for dolls and stuffed animals. “I haven’t lost a toy yet,” she says sweetly to a sick dinosaur in one episode.

The series is a ratings hit with preschoolers and much appreciated by black parents, reports the Times. But where’s the role model for black boys? They couldn’t give little Doc McStuffins’ father a job? Black girls are far more likely to go to college, earn degrees and become doctors than their brothers.

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Comments

  1. palisadesk says:

    Black girls are far more likely to go to college, earn degrees and become doctors than their brothers.

    So are white girls.

    • Women made up 47% of first year M.D. students in the U.S. in the 2011-2012 school yer. That suggests there is still a slim male advantage.

      Now if you add in all the other types of health practitioners with a title of “Dr.” like optometrists (60% of students are female), audiologists (57%), chiropractors (44%), podiatrists (35%), clinical psychologists (76%), etc. then you’re probably correct.

  2. It’s not PC to mention it, but I recently read that 25% of women physicians are either working part time or not working, according to AMA data. I forget the percentage for men, but it’s tiny. With one third of all physicians over the age of 55, physician access is projected to be a problem, without considering that issue. Last week’s article about the projected shortage focused on primary care practitioners (family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics and OB/GYN) and these are fields typically chosen by women. Over 50% of some varieties of surgeons were over the age of 55 (announced at a surgical meeting at least 4 years ago) and retirements are outpacing new graduates. In urology, ten percent of current practitioners are over age 70. BTW, the governement has been pushing primary care for decades and is continuing to do so. I recently spoke with a parent whose daughter is in med school and there are incentives for those choosing primary care, including med school tuition breaks and forgiveness of (some part of) loans. She wasn’t sure about the source of funding, whether it was school, state,federal or a combination, but it was a very attractive deal.
    I know this wasn’t strictly on-topic, but since the government has been pushing med schools to admit more women, the issue of their continued practice after residency, and its impact on physician access, should be considered.

    And, schools at all levels (particularly ES-MS) need to work to encourage boys. They have really been feminized, both in content and in instructional practices – much more artsy-crafty and touchy-feely. I saw it in both ES and MS between my older kids and the younger ones, and they attended the same schools.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      “…but I recently read that 25% of women physicians are either working part time or not working, according to AMA data. I forget the percentage for men, but it’s tiny.”

      Maybe this:

      A 2010 Physician Retention Study released in April by Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Assn. found that turnover rates are increasing slightly despite the poor economy. The trend has been fueled largely by young female and pre-retirement male physicians, including many who are seeking part-time positions. The survey found that 13% of male physicians and 36% of female doctors practiced part time in 2010, compared with 7% and 29%, respectively, in 2005.

      http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/07/11/bica0711.htm

    • Genevieve says:

      I also wonder how many hours the doctors are working part time. My children’s pediatricians belong to a practice where everyone works part time. I think that they work at least 32 hours and also take turns being on call on the weekends. I would not be surprised if they worked 40 hours most weeks. These are predominately women with children, so they don’t want to work 60-80 hrs. This seems reasonable to me.

  3. Mark Roulo says:

    “…With one third of all physicians over the age of 55, physician access is projected to be a problem, without considering that issue.”

    I suspect that there isn’t a lot new here.

    The earliest that a doctor can start practicing is about 26 (four years of undergraduate education gets you to 22 and four more years of medical school gets you to 26). Specialists might not start practicing until they are 30.

    Lets assume that the average age of retirement is 66.

    So … 26 to 66 makes for a 40 year career. *IF* the age distribution is flat, then you’ll have 11/40 = 27.5% of doctors 55 or older.

    But … some doctors don’t start working until they are 30. Some doctors work beyond 65 or 66. And some doctors drop out early (not a lot, I expect) and no longer count as doctors.

    Roughly 1/3 of doctors older than 55 seems about right, given how we train doctors.

  4. Cardinal Fang says:

    The role model for black boys is a father who acknowledges his children, and is living with them and their mother. A stay-at-home parent of young children is working; childcare is work, as is gardening.