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Aug 05

Women in Surgery

women in surgeryIt was not that long ago that there were almost no women in any type of medical practice. Today women make up about 50% of new medical school graduates. In 2014, a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) found that 47% of medical students, and 46% of residents were women. However, women are still underrepresented in the surgical specialties.

Despite ongoing efforts in medical schools and professional organizations, the number of women in surgery remains low. Their ranks are growing, but not as rapidly as the profession would like.  There are approximately 162,000 surgeons in the United States, and according to the Association of Women Surgeons (in 2015), only 19.2% of practicing American surgeons were women. Additionally, women constituted only 8% of Professors, 13% of Associate Professors and 26% of Assistant Professors of Surgery.

The issues challenging women surgeons are the same as those challenging women in other professions. They include having greater work/life balance challenges than men, continuing pay deficits between women and men (even when identical educational backgrounds and skills are present) and difficulty finding mentors as they go through medical school.

There is no doubt that women can become able and skilled surgeons, and the need is growing. If you know a young woman who is considering a career in medicine or surgery, she might gain some insight from the Association of Women Surgeons, an organization that fosters mentoring and the development of professional and personal networks. Just go to Google, Bing or another search engine and enter the term, “Association of Women Surgeons.”

Right now, if you have any question about the areas included in general surgery, especially bariatric surgery, please contact our office at Contact Dr Birkedal or phone us at 386-210-9794. Our offices, located in Daytona, New Smyrna and Palm coast are all part of the AdventHealth Medical Group.

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