‘Feminisation’ across generations

“THERE were no ‘safe hours’ at Stalingrad” was one of the more colourful quotes to come out of a debate at Sydney Hospital last week titled: ‘Are young Australian doctors better than the older models?’

On the affirmative side was AMA Queensland president-elect and emergency physician Dr Alex Markwell; on the negative Dr Stephen Ruff, orthopaedic surgeon at Royal North Shore and Dubbo hospitals, NSW.

Drs Ruff and Markwell addressed four burning intergenerational issues: feminisation of the workforce; safe hours; new technology; and working in teams. 

The mostly light-hearted debate was part of a launch of a redesigned Medical Journal of Australia. 

Dr Markwell scored early points against her esteemed older colleague, pointing out that the term “feminisation” had been misused for decades and had a “disease-state ring to it”.

The word feminisation, she argued,