Objective: To explore the professional challenges faced by female doctors during their fellowship training in semi
government hospitals of Pakistan.
Study Design: It was a qualitative study using a collective case study approach.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out in two semi-government hospitals of Rawalpindi i.e.
Fauji Foundation and Pakistan Railways hospital, from Jan to Jul 2016.
Material and Methods: Ten female doctors working as a trainee (irrespective of year of training) were
interviewed by using semi-structured questionnaire. They were inquired about the challenges and issues faced by
them in their training. Thematic analysis of the available data was carried out. Themes identified in the data were
compared with themes already explored in literature.
Results: Ten in-depth interviews revealed themes related to challenges faced by female trainees. All of them
strongly believed that training was very tough and hectic and they came across many, departmental, institutional
and personal problems during their training. All of them expressed their intense motivation for the training, but
still felt it to be demanding. They believed they had paid a heavy price for this training by sacrificing prime time
of their youth and family.
Conclusion: It was identified by the participants that female encounter countless barriers when they start their
fellowship trainings. They come across institutional as well as personal barriers which affect their career, thus
hindering their progress.
Conservative culture, Fellowship, Female doctors, Health care delivery system, Semi Government