Dr Falak Sana, Dr Hafsah Saboor, Dr Hafiz Muhammad Husnain Shafi, Dr Hafsa Afzaal
Background: A female doctor faces various barriers during her medical life which play significant role in her career development and which affect the way she performs in her practical life. This research was conducted to get insight of various aspects of perceived barriers by female doctors. Objectives: To analyze the various barriers perceived by female doctors, to assess the magnitude of these barriers and to compare the barriers discussed in our research with the already existing literature present on this topic. Material and Methods: Study Design: Cross sectional study Study Setting and duration: Study was conducted at Jinnah Hospital situated on Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani Road, Lahore, Pakistan. The duration of this study was three months. Inclusion criteria: All the female Post Graduate Residents and House Officers (Both married and unmarried) working at Jinnah Hospital, Lahore. Data Collection and analysis: 200 female doctors were chosen randomly from different departments of Jinnah Hospital regardless of their marital status. All the selected ones gave their consent to fill in the questionnaire which consisted of 20 questions in total regard with various barriers they have faced or are currently facing in the development of their medical career. Results: Out of 200 respondents, the major aspects identified as barriers are the following: sociocultural values of Pakistan 46.5% (fig. 2), non-supportive behavior of in-laws 68.4% (fig.3), refusal to leave their children in day care centers 68.4%(fig.4), weaker physique as compared to men (25.1%), conveyance issues 25.3% (fig 6) , lack of mentorship 20% (fig 7), observance of hijaab 10% (fig 8), and self-doubt 31.5% (fig 9), uncomfortable workplace environment 38% (fig 10), discriminating masculine attitude 11% (fig 11), and an inability to take time out for attending seminars and research activities 55.5% (fig 12). Conclusions: The conclusion of our study is that though there is strong parental support but numbers of barriers hindering their carrier development are perceived by female doctors. Social and cultural values, behavior of in-laws and spouse and working conditions were important perceived barriers by female doctors. Male doctor’s attitude and gender discrimination is also important barrier. Key words: Barriers, Female doctors, Career Development.