Female medical students report cases of sexism during hospital placements

One female student had been told that ‘women shouldn’t become doctors because they go off and have babies which is bad for the NHS’

Female medical students at the University of Warwick have reported sexist comments made towards them during medical placements at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, Coventry Live reports.

One female student reported that an NHS worker at the hospital had told her that “women shouldn’t become doctors because they go off and have babies which is bad for the NHS."

Another student reported that a patient had also made sexist comments and asked “give me a b***j**” in front of a group of people.

Talking to Coventry Live, some of the students, who wish to remain anonymous, believed they were being encouraged to partake in 'softer' specialities such as General Practice, Dermatology, Gynecology and Obstetrics.

One student claimed she was told: “You can’t be an orthopedic surgeon because you are a woman and not strong enough."

The students believe that "sexism is seen as fair game," in comparison to other forms of abuse such as racism.

The students raised their issues with the hospital but were dissatisfied by their response.

The staff concerned with making these comments were only told to “write a reflection." One student targeted described the process as "extremely frustrating."

A spokesman for University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust reassured these students that they would be investigating these allegations, and stated they would not tolerate any disrespectful behaviour from its staff.

They commented: “Where there is evidence of this happening we will take action. We have zero tolerance approach in relation to any form of discrimination.”

Warwick University told Coventry Live that they had been in contact with the hospital concerned and were pleased to learn of the processes the Trust had in place to ensure that these "very serious matters" are identified and acted upon.