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Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by fromjersey, Apr 6, 2007.
Is gender still an issue?
While I'm sure it's still an issue most places, the vets I've worked with were in practices owned by women. Moreover, they were able to juggle kids and the job with no problems. While I was there, I never saw any respect problems or female clients trying to be girlfriends with them instead. They were always outspoken about the challenges they'd faced, but they never said anything about having children be one of those challenges. Again, maybe it's just my experience, but the vets I've worked for didn't seem to face the gender bias.
That survey is ridiculous. Vet med offers 'special challenges' for anyone who decides to take up the profession.
Question: If it is so hard for women to handle the field, then why is it that a majority of Vet school classes are female and so are a majority of clinics?
I was rather surprised by that survey.
This quote just makes me mad:
"Women, on average, do not have the drive and work ethic that men do. There are notable exceptions, but overall women lack work ethic."
I'll show them work ethic and then they'll be embarrassed by their noticable lack of it!
Sounds like some of these people need to pull their heads out of the sand. I agree that society places more pressure on females in regards to family obligations and this could ultimately make it more difficult to balance work and family. But I'd like to punch the person who says that women don't have the same work ethic as men.
This is ridiculous
So many of these comments are based on a women's role in the family. Men have families too! Anyone ever heard of a breast pump? Seriously, these editors must have picked the most ridiculous responses they could find.
Honestly these quotes don't surprise me. The general attitude, especially among older professionals, is that men are better at their jobs. But keep in mind that these quotes from female veterinarians about children coming first and men not being able to take care of children aren't really helping the situation either.
A few days ago I went to a convention on education in the sciences, and after one of the speakers talked about racialization in education, some old engineering professor raised his hand and said, "When men walk into the room, they look for their seats. When women walk into the room, they look at what everybody is wearing. How do you twist women into the engineers you want them to be?" Everyone was shocked at this question, and you can bet it was met with some angry answers. Like everything else, though, the attitude progresses when the old fogeys kick the bucket.
At this point I would venture to say that MOST practice owners have no gender bias, or even if they do they've gotten over it because so many job applicants are women. Just make sure you get out of there quick if it becomes a problem.
...out of somewhere anyway.
I've heard...(and perhaps this isnt true, I dont know)...that it is still quite difficult, especially when working in the equine field, to garner respect as a female veterinarian. Many people running these farms in rural areas are still expecting (and wanting) to see a man drive up to do the job...and are sometimes quite adamant about NOT wanting a woman veterinarian. They feel like women don't have the muscle for the job.
That being said, I think the field is progressing quite a bit. You are finally starting to see women becoming the deans of some very prominent veterinary schools. If you compare the number of women in veterinary school to the number of women veterinarians with prestigious careers, I am sure the number is higher than if you compare the number of women in graduate school (for biology, for example) with the number of women holding high ranking faculty positions in those fields.
No s**** I work 4 jobs, take care of my animals AND my husband and he whines about working 1/2 hour overtime. They can kiss my buns !
Well, those quotes are a bit nasty, aren't they?
But aside for that, this topic is mirroring recent thoughts I have been having about having families and being a veterinarian (particularly a traveling large animal vet).
I think its good for us ladies to think of how we're going to be good vets and be active parents. Heck, it is probably equally an issue for men, and especially for male vets who marry female vets.
To be honest, I think that multivet practices with a lot of female practitioners will develop shorter work-weeks on a rotational basis. For example, a practice might hav single women and men wanting to work full time and parents who want less than full time. People could work full time if they want, but maybe practices should consider having some vets work only 4 days a week, but still be on call on so many days.
Or maybe a practice would hire or use a nanny with flexible hours for a daycare type set up? I think making shorter work weeks the norm will keep more women active during their children's early years; hopefully, this will reduce the stress on private practitioners who want to work full time.
Maybe childcare would be less of a problem in the small animal field because you are in one place, but I think its a huge issue in large animal medicine. I know several female equine vets who have not returned to work since having their kids. Granted, their kids are still only toddlers.
What does everyone else think?
A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't.
-- Rhonda Hansome
Women must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
-- Charlotte Whitton
Love the quotes!
some of the article quotes are so off the wall, i think they must have picked the most outrageous from each group. i work with male and female, single and partnered, childbound and childless, straight and gay, (and all possible permutations of above listed categories) vets, and have never heard such nonsense coming from their mouths.
and agree with r123 - love the quotes (if kate_g's)
Has anyone ever had a bad experience with an older generation veterinarian?
One doctor that I used to work for graduated from vet school in the 1970s and he had only two females in his class. He was a great guy sometimes, but he definitely made it clear that women were best left at home in the kitchen and doing the cleaning. Whenever I would clean up messes at the clinic he would tell me that I would be "such a good housewife someday." Needless to say, I wanted to punch him out right then and there! On my last day at the clinic, he told me that men were benefitting from there being so many women in the profession nowadays because, "...women only truly practice for a few years until they just pop out babies, then the men get all the business and the money." GRRRR...(shakes fist violently)
hmm...look at this:
"About 40 percent of veterinarians work 40 hours or less per week, according to the 2005 AVMA-Pfizer Business Practices Study, with 10 percent of veterinarians working less than 30 hours per week.
Some practitioners are more likely to work part time than others, though. Veterinarians who worked less than 30 hours per week were highly likely to be women, 77 percent; associates, 74 percent; and in companion animal practice, 88 percent.
Most female part-timers choose their hours because of their children, according to preliminary findings from the 2005 AVMA Veterinary Attitudes Study."
This is a reality that has me worried about my finances. I don't know if I want to have children. I am not very interested in that--BUT if my plans ever changed I don't want to have so much debt that I am going to work at a salary that just pays my debt service. If it takes twenty years to pay off my debt, will I EVER get a vacation?
But... nobody would *force* you to start working part time for low wages just because you had kids! I think the number of vets who are mothers working part-time is high because they *can* - it's a career that's easy to switch in and out of part-time work. Most other professional careers - including, probably, daddy's - are pretty much all-or-nothing. As a vet you have the option to bring in some salary (and keep your professional skills sharp) and still be around for your kids, rather than only having the choices of putting your career (and debt service) completely on hold vs. putting your kid in daycare its entire childhood. But it's not like having a kid puts a "don't hire full-time" restriction on your license or anything...
The only "special challenge" women face is hearing ignorant men and women spew forth that kind of bull.
And for the record, there are plenty of women like myself out there who have absolutely no desire to have children (human ones, that is)!
Pennymare, the equine practice where I work already does that with their vets. Each vet gets one weekday off a week, each is on call one weekday (usually, they get their day off after they're on call so they can sleep!), and the younger vets* rotate being on-call on the weekend (weekend = Fri night, Sat, Sun). The workdays during the busy season are 10+ hours for all of the vets, so they're still working full time+, but the day off allows them to catch up on family things and maybe (gasp) work with their own horses.
*The practice owners don't take call on weekends much any more, but they always come in on their days off to "see if anyone needs help" and pick up calls if the practice is really slammed, or recheck cases that they're seeing, which the younger associates don't do very much. In addition, the senior practice owner spends countless hours on nights and weekends taking care of inpatients.
And it's not called "gender bias," it's called SEXISM!
P.S. I am not some hairy-armpitted man-hater, I am just so sick of hearing crap like "women aren't strong enough for LA." I feel like we women are doing ourselves a disservice by trying understand or rationalize why some people think this way. By publishing these kinds of antiquated viewpoints, Vet Econ is only reinforcing them.
The quotes on that article are obviously biased and inaccurate. But do vet schools feel the same way that those editors do? Is it harder for a woman to get into vet school than a man? Ive heard arguments like "woman make better vets because they have smaller hands to fit in smaller places" And "men make better vets because they have the muscles to lift up and hold dogs in place." Ive even had vets tell me that vet schoos will pick me over women because im a white male. Are vet schools really sexist and racist??
No, I think the vets were probably saying that, although you're used to being in the majority because you're a white male, that's not the case with vet school.
i just saw a statistic for people getting into UT in 2005. 55 were women. 15 were men.
This is true of every school, reflecting the 4:1 Female:Male ratio in the applicant pool...
I didn't say what your vet said was true, I just said you're in the minority, haha. It doesn't help you get in.
lol, what do any of those arguments have to do with being a good vet?
and missbehavior, the rationalization is called "genetics", no? i happen to be a big girl raised around horses, so i don't anticipate a problem, but women are gentically different than men, and as such, tend to be smaller, with less muscle mass. granted, there are some small men out there that may not be able to take a charging, snorting, pawing, stud pony, but i bet there are more women than men like that. i do agree though that there are PLENTY of women strong enough to do LA, and i'm 100% with ya on the no kids thing
Harder for a woman to get into vet school? Are you crazy? Lol.
On average, 75% of veterinary classes consist of women. If there is ANY bias, the men will have a harder time getting in, not the other way around.
The only problem with this ratio is the lack of large animal veterinarians. While women do pretty well with horses, it generally takes a very strong man to effectively deal with cattle. I've met a female vet here and there that can do it, but they are few and far between. And most female vets aren't interested in cattle anyway.
So my question is.....when will this profession wake up and realize the need to admit more males in order to increase the number of practicing large animal veterinarians? Kansas State University has already posted an article over this very issue.
I'm female and definitely want to work with cattle. I don't think its to do with brute force, its to do with technique!
PS Of the few boys that are in my class, I don't think the proportion of them that wishes to work with large animals is any higher than the proportion of the girls. Off hand I can think of one male budding horse vet and I can't think of ANY that would especially want to work with cattle...... Saying more boys = more large animal vets is ridiculous........
You can only admit more males if more males apply. It's not like they are throwing the male applications aside for a woman. Here is Davis' admission stats. Notice the number of women who applied/were accepted and the number of men who applied/were accepted. The percentage is almost exactly the same (in fact the amount of men is slightly higher).
It involves force AND technique.
I didn't mean to suggest that simply letting in more guys will resolve the issue. It has simply been my experience that many men who are interested in cattle are turned away from veterinary schools.
It's actually not as ridiculous as it sounds, taking my location into account. A lot of the Texas guys want to work with cattle, but our GPAs tend to be lower so we get cut out before even getting a chance.
In the 70s, veterinary schools were not as quantitative in nature as they are now, and there were many more large animal veterinarians in practice. I really think something needs to be adjusted in order to bring that percentage back up, especially in Texas. When people in Amarillo are calling my dad for help with their cattle (that's several hours away Dallas), there's clearly something wrong.
4theanimals, you made an extremely good point that I forgot to discuss.
One of the reasons that fewers males are applying is due to the overly quantitative nature of veterinary programs. The passion is there, but they don't always have a 3.8, so they simply don't apply.
I can't speak for every area, but I know this to be the case at Texas A&M. Many of the "country boys" simply cannot compete with the highly intelligent women with 3.8s and 3.9s, so they don't even bother applying.
Regardless of one's standpoint on this issue, I think it's obvious that there needs to be a more proportionate ratio of men and women in veterinary medicine. 75% of women (or men like it was in decades ago) is too disproportionate. Men, and women, are uniquely capable in different ways.
Since when are women crushing men's GPAs? Even if that's true, it's only by a little bit, which doesn't account for the huge difference. Plus, med schools are just as quantitative, and it's just about split even over there.
I personally think that the larger number of female applicants is due to an empathy that men lack. I feel that men, by socially constructed standards or otherwise, are more about influence, impact, and practicality, which leads them away from vet med. This is just my personal opinion, who knows...
Also, I think that the lack of large animal vets is due to rapid urbanization and changing values in American culture.
Its been suggested to us here in Australia that men don't apply to vet school because men are more keen on actually making some money one day!
I really object to a suggestion that an average woman cannot make a good cattle vet.........
I agree with Cyrille. Though studies show that women perform slightly better than males, that is not the reason less men are in vet school. As he said, this is evidenced by medical school admissions.
Eh...I dont really see it as that big of a deal. If its a profession that tends to attract women, then so be it. Thats like trying to encourage more women to become truck drivers. If there's some underlying issue thats causing these numbers, for example, a woman's fear of being sexually harassed as a truck driver or in veterinary medicine a man's fear of going into a "feminized" profession...well, those are problems with society at large and need to be addressed on a broader level, not through tweaks such as trying to even out veterinary classes.
Why dont you go look at some numbers rather than spouting nonsense? The acceptance rates are dead equal.
Well there's something to be said for that, but perhaps they should work with cattle in other ways. Medicine is a difficult and quantitative field. If you cant calculate medicine dosages with confidence and remember how something is metabolized, then maybe medicine isnt the right field.
Well, I am a girl (as tall as an average guy).
Being that white females that want to go into a SA practice are the majority, it is harder for them to get in. Vet schools look for diversity in their student body, and therefore would rather take a male student than a female with the exact same background. I don't know why you think it is easier for women to get into vet school just because they are more represented. Look at the number of applications from men and women, the acceptances are comparable.
Not me, and I'm a guy.
I don't even know why I brought it up. All you do is throw out statistics like they're the bible. I know my argument is flawed, but if you can't produce some real-life evidentiary support then you've made no headway in widening my perspective. I urge all of you to mention this issue to practicing veterinarians (not a veterinary professor, that's worthless). I think you may be surprised with how many make a connection between fewer males in the profession and less cattle vets.
While I don't remember every word I've written in these posts, I certainly never wrote anything to suggest that men are superior to women. You can be as philosophical as you want to be, but everyone with any sense knows that men and women are uniquely capable in different ways. And anyone who has taken a statistics course knows that it's completely unreasonable to solely rely on "scientific evidence" that supports the idea that male and female strength are quite comparable.
The issue never was about whether a woman was capable of treating cattle. I simply suggested that increasing the admission of men into the veterinary field might increase the percentage of large animal veterinarians. I understand how complex this issue is, and I never intended to suggest that by simply adding more guys, we'll have more people working with cattle. Nothing is ever that simple.
I specifically noted that there are exceptional women (and exceptional men) who can do the job correctly. I understand how many women can read this and become angry, but if you have spent a significant amount of time with cattle, you'd surely see how important it is to have a strong male veterinarian to help out. But if you haven't, then you're going to be completely enraged by my posts because you haven't been there yet.
I'd also like to point out my other reason for suggesting that men are "generally" more equipped to handle cattle. Height is a very important issue, and I don't see that many women over 6 feet walking around these days. If you are dealing with a breach, you are going to wish you had someone with long arms to help you.
**Waits for a response that provides statistical evidence that women's arms are just as long**
Someone also suggested that perhaps the lack of men in the profession is due to their emphasis on influence, impact, and practicality.
Veterinary medicine is ALL about influence, impact, and practicality.
And finally, please don't try to label me as a bigot. I'm gay, and have more things in common with you women than any man I have ever met. So don't go there.
Nope, and no one claimed you did. You just come across as a condescending twit and that tends to set people off. I actually agree with some of your points, but youre acting as if everyone else is a knee-jerk feminazi. And by the way, you were the one who started with the statistics ("the men will have a harder time getting in, NOT the other way around," to quote), I think other people were just correcting you.
Anyway, as for your argument:
You are arguing for affirmative action for men in veterinary school. I dont think this is a good idea, as it would fix a symptom and not the disease itself (assuming there is some underlying "problem" causing the discrepancy). From what I gather, you think LA veterinary medicine needs more brawn and less brain. It was that way decades ago so why can't it still be that way. Thats what you're saying, right? I think the veterinary profession and veterinary schools would disagree with you. The quantitative, biochemical tack theyre taking isnt an accident. They are deliberately emphasizing science in their curriculums because they want the brightest veterinarians. They believe it is the best direction for the field to take.
However, suppose the vet schools are wrong and you are right: veterinary medicine needs more brawn and less brains. Maybe brains are overrated when it comes to doing a c section on a cow. Maybe anyone with a little common sense could do it alright, as long as theyre strong enough to restrain a cow. I dont think affirmative action for men would be the way to go about it. Rather, they should change admissions criteria, perhaps include a requirement for extensive farm experience and a stellar recommendation. Deemphasize GPA and GRE scores slightly. THAT would be a fair way of getting more brawn into the profession.
But the fact is, people cry about a shortage of farm vets, but the market wont hold a million more farm vets anyway. The reason most people go into small animal vet, I think, is not because they wuv widdle kitties and puppies, but because thats where the money is. And my impression is that more men than women are enticed by financial gain because more men than women are the breadwinners in their household, and thus feel more financial pressure to bring home the bacon. Now I dont know what the statistics are on that, but you're welcome to disprove me if you find something contradicting this.
Oh and one more thing, most of your argument focused on proving men are stronger than women. Duh. No one said they werent, so why are you acting as if anyone said that?
P.S. saying your gay doesnt get you off scot free from any charges of bigotry
Yeah, I obviously just haven't spent any time with cattle yet to realise I need a man.............. (rolls eyes)
Kitten Killer wrote:
I dont think affirmative action for men would be the way to go about it. Rather, they should change admissions criteria, perhaps include a requirement for extensive farm experience and a stellar recommendation. Deemphasize GPA and GRE scores slightly. THAT would be a fair way of getting more brawn into the profession.
I agree with that. In the 70s, A&M had over 1,000 applicants and everyone was interviewed, as long they met minimum requirements. Now, they have around 400, and around half of that gets interviewed. That's not fair.
Kitten Killer also wrote:
From what I gather, you think LA veterinary medicine needs more brawn and less brain.
That's not what I believe. Looking at cumulative GPAs just doesn't seem to be the best way of determining someone's intelligence level. Everyone's conditions are different, but most veterinary schools aren't open to hearing "excuses".
If all qualified applicants were interviewed, they would more likely determine which students truly are the brightest. But I guess they don't have time anymore.
I wish we had more vet schools. Let's open one.