【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.126: The Share of Female Doctors

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

In 2000, of the total number of 255,792 doctors, female doctors--at 36,852--accounted for only 14.4%. However, among the 9,024 newly qualified doctors who passed the national doctors' examination conducted in February 2018, there are 3,066 female doctors, accounting for 34% of the total. Since about one third of these newly qualified doctors are female, the overall proportion of female doctors to the total number of doctors increased to 21.1% as of 2016 (Figure 1), and is expected to exceed 30% in the future. However, as shown in Figure 2, the share of female doctors in Japan is the lowest in the 34 OECD countries, and it is considerably lower than the OECD average of 46.5%, even if it exceeds 30% in the future.

Figure 1: Number and share of female doctors

Source: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

Figure 2: International comparison of the share of female doctors

Note: The data is from 2015 (or nearest year)

Source: Health at a Glance, 2017 OECD Indicators

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