Why are there Less Female Surgeons than Male: JAMA study tries to answer
When you look at the gender divide in the field of surgery, one question may be hitting your mind - whis the number of female surgeons is less than males? A recent survey tried to find an answer to this question.
A survey of medical graduates revealed that female medical students are more intimidated by surgery, whereas, male graduates are more confident when it comes to surgical paths. The study was published in JAMA
The survey was conducted on the medical graduates from Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) at Dublin, Perdana, and Penang in Malaysia to investigate the outlook of male and female medical students towards a surgical career. The survey was done online where a hyperlink to an online, anonymized questionnaire was distributed to medical students in 3rd, 4th and final year at three RCSI campuses. Basic descriptive statistics were used to describe the responses to individual questions and appropriate statistical tests used to compare male and female responses to questions.
The investigators analyzed questioner attempted by 464 medical students where 40% were male and 50% were female. It was noted that female medical students were less attracted to remuneration as compared to males towards a choice of surgical career. Females were significantly more influenced in their choice of surgical career by part-time work, parental leave, working hours and length of residency. During surgical attachments, females were significantly more likely to admit feeling intimidated than males and males more likely to report feeling confident. Ninety-six per cent of students felt they would be more likely to pursue a career in which they had identified a positive role model, with female medical students three times more likely to have identified a female role model than males.
The authors concluded females were less attracted and more intimidated by having a career in surgery. Furthermore, the survey also found that preference for a career in surgery declines with advancing years in medical school for both males and females. High levels of feeling intimidated or ignored during surgical placements were reported in the medical students. Also, it was noted that enthusiasm for surgery reduces during medical school with exposure to this. These findings, along with the importance of role modelling, add further urgency to the need to address factors which make surgery less appealing to female medical graduates.
To read more about the study please click on the link
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