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We report on some demographic characteristics of junior doctors in the United Kingdom, studied in six national cohorts of qualifiers between 1974 and 1993. Over the 20 years covered by the data, the percentage of qualifiers who were women increased substantially (from 27% in 1974 to 47% in 1993). Between 1983 and 1993, the number of women qualifiers rose by 242 (a 17% rise) and the number of men fell by 430 (a fall of 18%). Of all doctors, 52% were aged 23 years or less when they qualified and there was no increase over time in mature qualifiers. We report on increases in the percentage of doctors who qualified in the UK but who were born outside it (from 11% to 16%). The percentage of respondents who were married at the end of the first year after qualification declined from 45% in 1974 to 15% in 1993. At 25 years of age, 2% of the women doctors who qualified in 1983 had children compared with 45% of women aged 25 in the general population. Two-thirds of the women doctors had children by their mid-30s.

Original publication




Journal article


Medical education

Publication Date





533 - 537


Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, UK.


Humans, Chi-Square Distribution, Family Characteristics, Marital Status, Parity, Sex Distribution, Adult, Physicians, Ethnic Groups, Female, Male, United Kingdom