Tuesday, April 25, 2006

the OR is just like everywhere else

a recent survey looked into why fewer women than men go into surgery, particularly interesting as fewer m.d.s are entering into surgerical residencies.

there are a few things that stand out to me:

men are apparently more concerned than women about family and workload concerns. i found this result surprising and in thinking about why this would be so (since it doesn't seem to me that women in general have stopped being concerned about a work/life balance) i can only surmise that this would be because women may see all fields as equally difficult in balancing family and work?

and, then of course, there are the not suprising findings that women are more likely to see sex discrimination in surgery, and percieve surgeons to comprise an "old boys' club" (not to mention women tend to be more disturbed about the "surgical personality", which i think fits into this).

but these results indicate something which really bothers me. it is one thing for women to feel like they can't do something because of the practicalities of the situation: they want to have children and don't see time for it, for example. but it is an entirely different thing for women to feel like they can't do something because of a perception that they just don't belong there doing it. i'm sure this is true in other situations too, but it just makes me sad.

i feel like i have a lot more thoughts to add to this (like how this is or is not reflected in popular culture in shows like ER, or Grey's Anatomy), but no time right now.


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