Abbreviations x Acknowledgements



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Females in Veterinary Medicine: Why the choice?

Satesh Bidaisee

Submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of
Doctor of Education
in the School of Education
at the University of Sheffield

Table of Contents


Abbreviations x

Acknowledgements xii

Declaration and Disclaimer xiii

Abstract xiv

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

The Research Question 1

Aims and Objectives 2

Context and Background 3

St. George’s University 5

Significance of the Study 6

Positionality and Ethical Considerations 9

My Life Story 11

Thoughts and Interpretations 16

Thesis Structure 17



Chapter 2: Literature Review 19

Females in Veterinary Medicine 19

Role of Gender 20

Education and Career Choices 23

Determinants of Choice 24

Life Experiences 26

Theoretical Background 27

Chapter 3: Methodology 33


  1. Choice and Description of Life History Research 33



  1. Application of Life History in Education 37



  1. Theoretical Framework: Grounded Theory 40



  1. Discussion on the Methodology used to conduct this Research 44



  1. Choice of Life History 44



  1. Research Population 45



  1. Data Collection 46



  1. Data Analysis 47



  1. Data Presentation 47



  1. A Synopsis of My Experiences during the Research Process 47



  1. Data Recording and Analysis 53



  1. Description of Scenes 56

Chapter 4: Interview 1: “There is Something About Mary” 59

Life History Chronology 59

Age for Choice of Veterinary Medicine 68

Impressions of Veterinarians 68

Female Veterinarians as Role Models 70

Female Students Academic Record 72

Barriers and Opportunities for Female Veterinary Students 74

Knowledge and Experience of Veterinary Medicine 75

Extraneous Experiences 75

Chapter 5: Interview 2: “Jane’s Clinic World” 78

Life History Chronology 78

Age for Choice of Veterinary Medicine 86

Impressions of Veterinarians 87

Female Veterinarians as Role Models 90

Female Students Academic Record 91

Barriers and Opportunities for Female Veterinary Students 93

Knowledge and Experience of Veterinary Medicine 94

Extraneous Experiences 95

Chapter 6: Interview 3: “Lone Lucy” 96

Life History Chronology 96

Age for Choice of Veterinary Medicine 105

Impressions of Veterinarians 106

Female Veterinarians as Role Models 108

Female Students Academic Record 109

Barriers and Opportunities for Female Veterinary Students 110

Knowledge and Experience of Veterinary Medicine 112

Extraneous Experiences 113

Chapter 7: Interview 4: “Sanju’s Tale of Two Medicines” 115

Life History Chronology 115

Age for Choice of Veterinary Medicine 124

Impressions of Veterinarians 126

Female Veterinarians as Role Models 127

Female Students Academic Record 128

Barriers and Opportunities for Female Veterinary Students 129

Knowledge and Experience of Veterinary Medicine 130

Extraneous Experiences 131

Chapter 8: Interview 5: “Miracle on Marie’s Street” 132

Life History Chronology 132

Age for Choice of Veterinary Medicine 142

Impressions of Veterinarians 143

Female Veterinarians as Role Models 144

Female Students Academic Record 145

Barriers and Opportunities for Female Veterinary Students 146

Knowledge and Experience of Veterinary Medicine 147

Extraneous Experiences 148

Chapter 9: Interview 6: “The Life and Times of Anne” 149

Life History Chronology 149

Age for Choice of Veterinary Medicine 157

Impressions of Veterinarians 159

Female Veterinarians as Role Models 160

Female Students Academic Record 161

Barriers and Opportunities for Female Veterinary Students 162

Knowledge and Experience of Veterinary Medicine 163

Extraneous Experiences 163

Chapter 10: Data Analysis 165

Introduction 165

Student Characteristics 166

Age of Choice of Veterinary Medicine 168

Impressions of Veterinarians 169

Female Veterinarians as Role Models 170

Female Students Academic Record 172

Barriers and Opportunities 173

Previous Knowledge and Experience with Veterinary Medicine 175

Extraneous Experiences 177

Interacting Themes 177

Life History, Veterinary Medicine and S.G.U. 186



Chapter 11: Discussion 188

The Students 188

Society and Culture 189

S.G.U.: Offshore Medical Institution 195

Application of Grounded Theory 196

Life Stages Theory 198

Review of Study Objectives 204

Chapter 12: Conclusion 204

Introduction 208

Research Findings 208

New Insights Created 209

Application of New Insights 211

Strengths and Weaknesses 213

Final Thoughts and Conclusion 218

References 220

List of Tables and Figures

Table 1: Themes Emerged from Students Interviews 157

Table 2: Distribution of Emerged Themes from Student Interviews 179

Figure : Gender of Veterinary Graduates, 1965-2012 7

Figure 2: Relationship between Veterinary Knowledge and Experience, Age of Choice, Positive Impressions of Veterinarians and Care of Pet Animals 182

Figure 3: Relationship between Academic records and Barriers and Opportunities to pursue Veterinary Medicine 184

Figure 4: Relationship between Knowledge of Veterinary Medicine and Early Interest in Veterinary Medicine 185

Figure 5: Life Stages Theory 199



Appendices

Appendix 1: Ethical Approval: University of Sheffield, School of Education 231

Appendix 2: Ethical Approval: St. George’s University, Institutional Review Board 232

Appendix 3: Information Sheet 233

Appendix 4: Participant Consent Form 237

Appendix 5: Research Questions 238

Appendix 6: Biodata Summary for Each Student 240

Appendix 7: Interview Transcript Example (Mary) 246




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