Ever wondered why your surgeon calls himself Mr? Because he is likely to be a bloke!
According to the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, females make up
I am not going to be simplistic and say that this is evidence of discrimination, or an “Old Boy’s” network. In fact, female junior doctors I deal with simply aren’t interested in surgery. This decision is sometimes based on pretty bogus logic. I mean, if lifestyle was such an issue, then there would not be so many females doing Obstetrics. However, my experience of the College is that they are often unprepared for requests for flexible training, including deferment or part time study. Seeing as females are so underrepresented, they probably haven’t with many of this type of request before. So in that sense, reluctance to deal with the difficulties of training are well-grounded.
Surely there is an image problem. If more than 90% of the surgeons trainees learn from are male, then it can be hard to find positive role models. And patients only get to see men in that role, which perpetuates the masculine image of surgeons.
But does it matter? Do people care about the sex of their surgeon? Are there any patients out there that would prefer to see a male, or a female surgeon, and why?