News & Events

News & Events

Book Week Scotland Event at Arlington Baths Glasgow on 23rd Nov 2019

Standing room only at Women in Medicine, a Book Week Scotland Event at Glasgow’s historic Victorian Arlington Baths. Participants from all over Scotland heard readings from Not The Life Imagined before a discussion chaired by Dr Pauline McGough (Medical Women’s Federation) on ‘patronising, propositioning and passing over’ behaviour in the NHS. With the Romney Report showed sexism still rife inside the British Medical Association itself, there was plenty to talk about.

Medical women in history were covered: Crimean surgeon Dr James Barry pretended to be a man, pioneers Marion Gilchrist graduating from Glasgow, in 1898 and the Edinburgh Seven (1896), only awarded degrees this year. Laughter greeted ludicrous reasons given for excluding women e.g. ‘loose tongues’ and ‘women didn’t know they were wrong unless they asked a man!’ The book’s royalties got to help girls internationally to succeed through charity Plan International.

The students present marvelled at life in the sixties: no mobiles, no internet, Family Planning only if married, women in pubs and pre-marital sex frowned on. Only 30% of med students were female- until 1973. Book extracts illustrated prevalent sexism- plus the entertaining chapter on wee willies in the anatomy room!

Students present praised current female role models, NHS staff present proposed ways to end discrimination and harassment in the work place, but acknowledged women also bully junior staff and men suffer discrimination too. Dr Sue Robertson (BMA Scottish Council Deputy Chair) commented that a bullying culture with ritual humiliation has been the norm in medicine for decades and needs changed by equality and inclusion training and helplines. Students told of current problems, including uncomfortable sexual innuendo, though their only support was a warning to keep clear of a ‘sleazebag’ senior. Girls are reluctant to speak out for fear of affecting careers.

Dr Robertson outlined mechanisms for calling out ‘unacceptable behaviour,’ where a doctor is warned about his sexism/harassment by a peer or senior. Some Health Board areas have this informally. NHS England now has designated points of contact for ‘whistle-blowers’ of any kind. Scotland does not. Diane Vlek, UOG MWF Chair, proposed setting up student/graduate ’families’ where senior and mid-grade women doctors link with designated female students to offer support.

Overall a stimulating evening, leaving us feeling the future NHS must improve. Unhappy bullying workplaces breed dangerous poor standards of care, as seen recently in failing Health Boards like  NHS Highlands.

Dr Pettigrew is grateful to Scottish Book Trust, Arlington Baths and Ringwood Publishing for the opportunity to hold this discussion evening.

Crime in the Spotlight-ers 2019 revealed!

Date – 20th Aug 2019

https://bloodyscotland.com/announcements/crime-in-the-spotlight-ers-2019-revealed/

Submission for Saltire Award

Date – 16th Aug 2019

Ringwood Competition: Butterfly & Pig Afternoon Tea

Prize drawn 31.5.19. Won by Anne Pettigrew of Cambridge! How weird is that? Are we related?

Find out in August when she comes up here to visit relatives…

‘Waterstones in stock!’

20/05/2019

Glasgow University Medicine, Arts and Humanities Society

Date – 25/03/2019

Venue – Adam Smith Building

Talk, debate and readings with female med students

Aye Write, Sudden Fame

Date –  24/03/2019

Venue – The Mitchell Library

Readings with Federation of Writers (Scotland)

Kilmacolm OKFest

Date – 23/03/2019

Venue – Old Kirk

Talking on Joy and reading from Not The Life Imagined.

Greenock Book Launch

Date  – 26/02/2019

Venue – Beacon Arts Centre

Q&A with Polly Beck and Raffle for PlanUK

Glasgow Book Launch

Date – 24/01/2019

Venue – Curler’s Rest, Byres Rd, Glasgow

Q & A with Tv’s Judith Ralston and Raffle for PlanUK

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