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Mil Med. 2010 Jan;175(1):21-4.

Stethoscopes and headscarves: female medical students in present-day Afghanistan.

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1
National Naval Medical Center, Laboratory Department, Bethesda, MD 20889, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This descriptive study reviews the experiences and challenges of female medical students in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban era, addressing issues specific to them as women and also in the wider context of the practice of medicine as it currently exists in this country.

METHOD:

Six female students were observed on in-patient internal medicine clerkships at the National Military Hospital (NMH) in Kabul, Afghanistan. The women also participated in a structured interview used to outline their values and perceptions as females in new roles and an evolving culture.

RESULTS:

Responding to the structured interview questions, the women called attention to gender-neutral issues and readily identified gender discrimination, but did not embrace uniquely feminine traits in themselves nor view themselves as women physicians to any appreciable degree.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although women are now attending medical school and practicing medicine again, their integration into Afghan culture as physicians remains at the developmental stage.

PMID:
20108838
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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