How merit-based medical admissions affect doctor outcomes

Reform Impacts: Analyzing how merit-based medical admissions have affected doctor outcomes in Pakistan

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 Dr. Hadia Majid (LUMS) and Dr. Fatima Aqeel (Colgate University)


This project evaluates the impact of a medical-admissions reform on doctor outcomes. In 1992 a pre-existing quota on female medical students was removed and admissions were changed to being merit-based. Subsequently, many more women entered medicine and gender ratios in the field were substantially altered.

Using a mixed methods approach, the project will field 1000 quantitative and 125 qualitative surveys of doctors across Pakistan, including some doctors who attended medical school before the reform and some who attended it after the reform. In doing so, we will gather detailed information on pay scales, work hours, mentorship access and reproductive burdens, among other outcomes by gender.

Using this data and exploiting gender ratio variation across medical specialties, we will study how the reform affected medical outcomes while highlighting crucial gaps. In the end, our project looks to develop a detailed database on gender differences in and factors affecting doctor outcomes thereby paving the way for structuring policy reform aimed at improving doctor and ultimately patient well-being.