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Home » Archive » 2017

TDK conference 2017

The gender shift in veterinary medicine and its impact on veterinary profession
Horváth Lívia - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Forensics, Law and Economics
Supervisors: Dr. László Ózsvári, Dr. Dániel Bendzsel

Abstract:

The feminization of services and healthcare can also be observed in the veterinary profession.

One part of my research focused on the long-run process of feminization of the veterinary profession based on collecting and processing of the relevant archives in the Hutӱra Ferenc Library, Archives and Museum. Furthermore, I used online questionnaires to survey the veterinarians’ opinion about this gender shift in veterinary profession and about their motives and ideas which influenced their career choice and the realization of their expectations. I compared these results with those of human doctors. I complied another questionnaire to research the personality traits animal owners associate the gender of a veterinarian, and gender preference when they choose a veterinarian to see.

I used Google Forms to compile the questionnaires and published a link in veterinary and animal owner forums in social media (Facebook), at the Hungarovet forum's website, and at Vetmail veterinary mailing list. The questionnaires were filled by veterinary surgeons and animal owners between 18 July and 14 August 2017 and the results were processed with Microsoft Excel™ program.

The number of women studying veterinary medicine in Hungary began to rise radically in the 1990s. 2004 was the first year when more women received their veterinary degree than men. Between 2012 and 2016, an average of 23% of the graduates were male.

The results of the survey show that in the case of veterinary surgeons, the strong motivation of high income among men is the same as in human medical circles and in young male's career choice, which can be one of the reasons of the veterinary profession’s feminization. The professional income justified their expectations in 50% for men and just 28% for women, which may indicate a pre-orientation and early turnaround from the profession for the male. This may also explain that there are fewer males among veterinary university applicants (only 23% of applicants in 2016)

73% of the animal owners can only imagine male veterinarian doing cattle practice, 70% for swine, and 50% for equine treatment, respectively.

Possible adverse effects of the feminization of veterinary profession include lack of human resource in some professional areas, and labour instability due to child care leaves. At the same time, this process can bring about benefits, too, such as improved communication, closer client-vet relationship and the stronger bond between women and animals, which can ease the treatment.



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