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Sorry if this is a stupid question: Females in Surgery

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by SpeedRacer, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. SpeedRacer

    SpeedRacer Senior Member
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    I've seen some numbers in books on getting residencies, etc. that say that general surgery residencies (and even some surgical specialty residencies) are only like 7% female?

    First of all, is that true? I knew there were generally less women in surgery, but I had no idea the percentage was that small. Secondly, does that mean that women have somewhat of an advantage in applying for surgery residencies because they are under represented or because residency programs are trying to balance out the numbers?

    Sorry again if these are stupid questions - I am highly undeducated on the topic.
     
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  3. gwb

    gwb Junior Member
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    i believe the rough numbers were 20-25% female matriculants in the general surgery 2002 match- just check the literature. there are scores of articles out there discussing the fact that women now comprise approximately 50% of the medical student body but are not applying to general surgery in proportion to their numbers (surprise, surprise). this has concerning ramifications for a general surgeon shortage in the future. for most other surgical subspecialties, aside from ob/gyn, i'm pretty sure the numbers are even less optimistic.

    as for an advantage for the fairer sex, that is up for debate. to be honest, there were numerous discussions at ACS regarding the recruitment of more women into general surgery, so i certainly would not be surprised if female applicants were given the upper hand, all else being equal. that being said, may the best candidate win...
     
  4. tussy

    tussy Senior Member
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    I can only speak for my program which is about 40% women. Having sat on the admissions committee for the past couple years i can safely say that women and men were considered completely equal and there was no advantage for either.

    The 7% number you mention is probably the number of practicing female surgeons. In medical schools now women make up more than 50%, however they are underrepresented in the applicant pool for surgical specialties (probably due to lifestyle issues).

    Finally, i would say to ignore the numbers. If you are a man or a woman and want to do surgery, then go for it. If you are a woman and sensitive about gender issues, make sure you are applying to a program that is "female friendly". Some programs are definitely better than others.
     
  5. SpeedRacer

    SpeedRacer Senior Member
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    out of curiosity, which are better then others?
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    The "traditional" numbers quoted generally tended to be around 19% including OB-Gyn specialties. When only General Surgery residents were considered, about 7-9% were female.

    However, I believe these data to be...err, dated and the numbers are increasing. Like tussy's program, we're about 40% as well but in the interview process neither gender is given an advantage. We've had a mission over the last few years to accept more females and we've been successful in doing so. So perhaps you can ascertain there is an advantage but all of these applicants have had good scores and letters, in many cases, better than the male applicants, so you can read into that what you wish.

    "Better programs" are those with lots of females on their current resident rosters.
     
  7. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    My program is about 50:50 male/female at this point. This has happened because more females matched. As the number of females in medical school increased, the numbers in surgery increased. In most cases, the board scores and grades were better than their male counterparts.

    Female attendings are still a distinct minority. I expect that these numbers will change as more women are finishing residency. Our group of chief residents for year after next will be all female.

    njbmd :)
     

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