A new study shows just how much the medical community may be suffering from a lack of female surgeons due to pregnancy.
As we reported recently, a new study indicates that women who become pregnant while training to become a surgeon often give up their careers in favor of their baby. And it unveils a stunning truth that confronts the medical profession – a truth that may be incredibly damaging to the profession itself.
Although we think of medicine and surgery as being a profession that is more concerned with expertise than politics, pregnant surgeons feel the stigma and worry about loss of reputation when they become pregnant while training. Coupled with a concern about how their long hours affect child care, this may be driving many qualified people out of the profession, the authors worry.
And the impact can be seen in today’s medical school graduates, with women making up just 40 percent of residents in general surgery and just 18 percent of faculty members – an astonishingly low number.
“Surgeons take pride in the intensive training they endure, spending between five and nine years after medical school dedicated to gaining the skillsets needed to provide the best possible care for their patients,” reads the statement from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “For female surgeons who wish to have children, this means that they either start a family during training, or wait until the end of the lengthy training period often when they are in their mid- to late-30s. Women constitute more than half of today’s medical school graduates, yet they remain underrepresented in general surgery, making up 40 percent of residents and only 18 percent of faculty members in the United States.”