Background: Medicine has undergone profound changes in terms of the number of women entering the profession with postulated implications of this ‘feminization’ for the profession. The present phenomenological study sought to gain insight into the experiences of final year male and female Emirati medical students (clerks) in terms of the impact of gender on their careers. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 of the 27 clerks. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Findings: There was consensus that the gender profile of medicine in the United Arab Emirates was changing as opportunities emerged for Emirati women to branch into different medical specialties. These opportunities were, however, local or regional due largely to travel restrictions on women. Females would thus receive a less highly regarded board certification than males who were encouraged to specialize abroad. On their return, males would be appointed as consultants or as high-ranking administrators. Participants also acknowledged that like their roles in their society, some medical specialties were ‘gendered’, e.g., surgery (male) and pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology (female). Conclusion: Although religious and cultural traditions around gender and mobility will influence the professional careers of male and female Emirati medical graduates, the situation is, however, changing.
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