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The strategies suggested by McKinstry and Colthart have my support — the issue of encouraging women and men to be GPs is a duty of all those who advocate for the discipline, and enabling women to take part in the full gamut of possibilities of their chosen career is only fair. I also accept Smith's point that ‘women and men are different’, but the position of the editorial was to counteract the oversimplistic argument that ‘more women equals more problems’. Planning for fewer hours in front-line practice over a working lifetime for all doctors fits the current preferences of younger doctors for a portfolio career. Mentoring students and junior doctors to aspire to a full professional application of their training needs to develop women as well as men, especially in a situation where the majority of national leaders are still male. The main point is that the system needs to make the best of us all.