Women now dominate the field of veterinary medicine — the result of a nearly 40-year trend that is likely to repeat itself in the fields of medicine and law...That's the conclusion of a new study that found three factors that appear to be driving the change: the 1972 federal amendment that outlaws discrimination against female students; male applicants to graduate schools who may be deterred by a growing number of women enrolling; and the increasing number of women earning Bachelor's degrees in numbers that far exceed those of male graduates, says sociologist Anne E. Lincoln.I still have questions! If veterinary medicine, medicine, and law are all changing, why is veterinary medicine changing first? Why are more women earning bachelor’s degrees than men these days? Enquiring minds want to know. Hopefully Dr. Lincoln is continuing research in this area.
I also recently encountered Science IS Sexist, in which Alexandra Jellicoe asks, Do you think that women are more intuitively than logically intelligent and do you think that as scientific research has been designed to only include this logical, evidence based approach, it alienates women? She concludes that the female brain is likely to find the existing scientific research approach dull, dull, dull. It is too narrow and systematic and does not maximise the use of the hive of activity going on in a female brain. Men approach problem-solving from a task-oriented perspective while women typically solve problems more creatively.
What I find particularly interesting about this idea is that my friend LPK and I have observed that in vet school, dominated by women as it is, we tend to have different approaches to problems than most of our classmates. We tend to approach problems more intuitively and creatively; our classmates are more likely to approach problems more systematically. LPK and I also differ from most of our classmates in that we spent significant time out of school, in non-veterinary careers, before entering vet school. (Five years for her, more like 12 for me.)
So is vet school the place for women to go who think like men? Did it take me so long to realize I wanted to become a veterinarian because (in part) I had to overcome the obstacle of having different approaches to problems than the rest of the veterinary community?
Food for thought. I usually like to leave you with an opinion, but I don’t have one here, just questions.