Sharona B Ross, MD, FACS, Carly E Waldman, BS, Keiyana D Morris, Darrell D Downs, BS, Alexander S Rosemurgy, MD, FACS. Florida Hospital Tampa
Introduction: This study was undertaken to determine if male surgeons’ perceptions of female surgeons represent a bias against women in Surgery. Since its beginning, Surgery has been a male-dominated discipline with gender roles traditionally defined along societal norms. Presumably, as society has evolved, so have male surgeons’ perceptions of female surgeons, though data is lacking.
Methods: 190 male surgeons were queried about attitudes toward female surgeons utilizing a validated questionnaire. The survey included binary, multiple choice, and Likert scale questions, 1 (definitely disagree) to 5 (definitely agree).
Results: 84% of male surgeons have been attending surgeons for > 5 years. 78% deem female surgeons as capable as their male colleagues. 80% consider it possible for a woman to be a good surgeon, mother and spouse; however, 76% believe female surgeons experience more pressure to balance work and family. 75% think female surgeons have the same advancement opportunities as men, though 30% believe gender discrimination exists in Surgery (Figure). 64% consider the “surgical discipline” accountable for fewer women finishing training, yet 57% think the rate of women entering Surgery is not a problem to address.
Conclusions: While most male surgeons have favorable opinions of the personal and professional abilities of female surgeons, favorable opinions are not universal; a bias against women persists in Surgery. Considering most medical students today are women, the discipline of Surgery dismisses this talent pool only to its detriment. Surgery, and men in Surgery specifically, must evolve to eliminate bias against women in Surgery, promoting an equitable and inclusive work environment for the betterment of Surgery and all its stakeholders, including patients.
Presented at the SAGES 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX.
Abstract ID: 80369
Program Number: P015
Presentation Session: Poster of Distinction (Non CME)
Presentation Type: PDIST