It’s turning into a bad week for radical feminists–first the Vatican sends a letter to bishops critiquing feminism, focusing on the ills radical forms of feminism have wrought, and now one of the United Kingdom’s top female doctors is saying publicly that that the influx of women into the medical profession could make medicine a less prestigious career.

Inkwell almost skipped the Vatican letter because this isn’t a religious site, and it’s tempting to ignore the Dr. Black’s remarks because–well–because one hardly knows what to say. 

But the doctor’s words, like the Vatican’s, deserve our thoughtful attention. So here goes.

As the Telegraph reports:

“Prof Carol Black, president of the Royal College of Physicians, believes breaking the dominance of male consultants and ‘feminising’ the profession will make it less influential in society.”

Black certainly isn’t arguing that women don’t belong in medicine. But she is willing to ask how a huge increase in the percentage of female doctors will affect the profession and health care. Her basic concern is that female doctors, as a rule, aren’t willing to work the same hours as male doctors:

“Black said that women tended to specialize in less high-status areas of medicine, because the long hours were incompatible with having a family.

“’They choose to go into the specialties of dermatology, geriatrics and palliative care — not cardiology and gastroenterology where they are going to be required to work long hours.

“’What worries me is who is going to be the professor of cardiology in the future? Where are we going to find the leaders of British medicine in 20 years’ time?’

“To maintain the profession’s influence senior doctors needed to serve on Government committees and regulatory bodies, and that was harder for women, according to Prof Black.”

Black is only the second female head in the 500-year history of the Royal College of Physicians. With more women than men entering medical school, she is raising a very important issue.

Her answer is more government help for women doctors (for daycare, for example), a solution not likely to appeal to those of us who find the concept of taxpayer-supported daycare for doctors absurd (female doctors can pay for it themselves–the dilemma is how can they spend more time with their children, not how they can afford to have somebody else spend more time with them).

Do I feel a panel discussion coming on?