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Sustaining a career in general practice: Embodied work, inequality regimes, and turnover intentions of women working in general practice

Susan Mayson and Anne Bardoel

Gender, Work and Organization, 2021, vol. 28, issue 3, 1133-1151

Abstract: The medical workforce in Australia is rapidly feminizing, with general practice (GP) seen as an attractive career choice for female doctors looking for greater work flexibility. However, there is evidence of increased female GP turnover, particularly among younger GPs. Drawing on interviews with a sample of 26 Australian female GPs, this study explores how the embodied nature of GP work and gendered organizational processes create inequality regimes founded on gendered normative expectations of GP work, leading to turnover intentions. Then, considering the literature on job crafting, we problematize the notion of employees proactively optimizing their work environment to show how some female GPs work within gender constraints to craft a sustainable medical career, with others failing. These findings contribute to our understanding of the embodied nature of work and as such may better inform both individual decisions and workforce planning policy to reduce GP turnover and sustain Australia's medical workforce.

Date: 2021
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