'Women Don't Do Well Here': Physician Job Ad Prompts Anger

Ellie Kincaid

December 20, 2019

Physicians on Twitter noticed a job advertisement for a hospitalist position in Bullhead City, Arizona, that sparked outrage.

"Tough facility & medical staff- must have back bone and be diplomatic, excellent customer service skills," read the job posting on ZipRecruiter.com, which has since been taken down. It continued: "Women don't do well here."

"And then they say there is no gender bias in Medicine…" tweeted Thais Coutinho, MD, division chief of cardiac prevention and rehabilitation and chair of the Canadian Women's Heart Health Center at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.



"HR department review, anyone? Sounds like a hostile workplace," tweeted one physician.


"Is it still 2019 or have I travelled back in time 50 years?" tweeted another physician.

Based on multiple screenshots posted to Twitter, the job listing appears to have been posted "over a month ago" by staffing firm Ascend Medical. It was not clear what hospital the posting referred to. 




Ascend Medical did not respond to Medscape Medical News' request for comment. In response to an inquiry from HR expert Suzanne Lucas writing for Inc.com, the company said, "The posting you inquired about was taken down immediately upon it's [sic] being brought to our attention, as it in no way reflects our company's beliefs, core values, or policies. Please accept our sincere apologies." Valley View Medical Center, a hospital in Bullhead City, Arizona, told Medscape Medical News that it was not recruiting for the position. Another local hospital, Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, did not respond to Medscape Medical News' request for comment.

Lucas speculated that the hiring manager wrote the text and Ascend Medical posted it without legal review. "You cannot discriminate on the basis of sex except in very few situations called a bonafide occupational qualification (BFOQ)," Lucas wrote. "A hospitalist would not meet that requirement." 

Physicians also tweeted speculation that the posting was fake or authored by an unhappy employee, and a similar job posting from a different staffing firm on ZipRecruiter.com was unremarkable. 

"To get to the point where you're a board-certified hospitalist, any doctor--male or female--should be able to handle this job," Lucas wrote. "If women don't do well, it's not a problem with the women but the environment."

Ellie Kincaid is Medscape's associate managing editor. She has previously written about healthcare for Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Nature Medicine.

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