Letter: The consultants' club

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The Independent Online
Sir: Rudolph Klein writes about the the inbred culture of the Bristol Royal Infirmary ("Tragic case that proves the need for checks on competence", 30 May). Does this arise in part because the consultant body is still largely an all-male club?

Nationally, only 19 per cent of consultants are women, and this drops to 4 per cent among surgeons, despite the fact that 52 per cent of medical students are female. Additionally, 85 per cent of women doctors have children. If these mothers had been among Mr Wisheart's colleagues, would they have permitted things to go as far as they did?

There is an immediately accessible way of changing the hospital culture: appoint more women to consultants' jobs.