Doctors and the State in the Soviet Union by Michael Ryan (auth.)

By Michael Ryan (auth.)

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According to the authorities' records, it also had about a hundred doctors who had not practised for between two and ten years. ) The majority were found to be women but, significantly, few of them needed to abandon paid employment on the ground that they were mothers of large families and hence had little time to spare from child care. Incidentally, the writer makes no mention of low salaries as an explanatory factor and, in what now seems an old-fashioned style of hortatory moralising, invokes the cost of medical training and a student's duty to repay it 'by his work for the good of society'.

A separate topic for investigation is the balance of the sexes in the more prestigious and better paid medical posts. Posing the question in vernacular terms, it can be asked: do women doctors get their fair share of the top jobs? 2 Women doctors and women in the workforce: by Union Republic, 1983 Women as percentage of doctors USSR Russian SFSR Ukrainian SSR Belorussian SSR Uzbek SSR Kazakh SSR Georgian SSR Azerbaidzhan SSR Lithuanian SSR Moldavian SSR Latvian SSR Kirgiz SSR Tadzhik SSR Armenian SSR Turkmen SSR Estonian SSR Women as percentage of workforce• 68 72 51 63 53 70 66 46 62 57 59 71 57 76 62 52 52 52 43 49 43 53 51 55 49 68 38 46 80 55 53 41 NoTE (a) Excluding collective farm workers.

Brzheski makes the point that practices which students observe in medical institutes have a marked influence on their subsequent expectations and behavioural patterns. He writes: students sometimes present a valuable gift to the chairman of the state examining board. Nobody teaches them this- it's said to be a tradition ... But if nobody from the institute's administration condemns or censures this action, then without question it is 28 Doctors and the State in the Soviet Union perceived by our students as a proper style of establishing relationships.

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