Brian J Fitzpatrick - BDSc, MDSc, FRACDS



 Why Women are Better Prosthodontists than Men


3 learning objectives:     

  • Communicate effectively with women health practitioners
  • Educate and motivate others in order to improve awareness of gender superiority
  • Develop confidence and competency in a range of gender specific prosthodontic skills

Abstract of presentation:             

The health care landscape has been traditionally dominated by gender specific stereotypes; medical and dental nurses have been almost exclusively women and medical and dental practitioners have been almost exclusively men. Prosthodontics has been no exception in this gender specific stereotyping. More recently, gender specificity has been seriously challenged and it is no longer accepted that one gender has a mortgage on professional specialty groups within the health care model.

There was a time when women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law. Gender equality within the professions was first seriously challenged by the women?s movement in the seventies. With the inclusion of Title IX in the US Education Codes of 1972, equal access to higher education and to professional schools became the law. The number of women doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, architects and other professionals has doubled and doubled again as quotas actually limiting women's enrollment in graduate schools were outlawed. Women have achieved parity in medical schools in some industrialized countries. In 2007-2008, women accounted for 49% of medical school applicants and 48.3% of those accepted.

The number of women in prosthodontics has slowly grown in recent years. While it is not possible to state that women can compete with men in a quantitative sense with men continuing to significantly outnumbering women prosthodontists, it is possible to make qualitative comparisons based on gender within the prosthodontic workforce. This paper will provide compelling evidence to support the hypothesis that women are better prosthodontists than men.

Short biosketch:

Dr Brian Fitzpatrick graduated from the University of Queensland, School of Dentistry in 1976 in a class dominated by males (41-5). He spent several years in a mixed gender private general practice in Brisbane before completed his prosthodontic training at the University of Queensland being awarded an MDSc in 1983. He has been in full-time specialist prosthodontic practice in Brisbane since 1985 and employs both male and female dentists and prosthodontists.

He has delivered a considerable number of invited scholarly presentations in Australia and internationally on various non-gender specific subjects with a particular interest in Evidence Based Outcomes. Dr Fitzpatrick maintains membership of numerous national and international gender friendly prosthodontic organizations.

Brian has been married for 39 years, has two daughters, two sons, five grand-daughters and four grandsons. He brings experience, balance and perspective to this debate and as such feels adequately qualified and sufficiently intimidated to address this topic of gender difference in prosthodontics.