Structural Barriers To Entry For Female Surgical Trainees

sharonmiskell150Dr S Miskell
Northern Sydney Central Coast Health Service

Objective: Identification of the barriers encountered by female surgical trainees in entering and completing surgical training programs

Methodology: Interviews were conducted with female surgical trainees to obtain information about the key issues and problems which they are encountering in pursuing their career preference as surgeons. The interviews specifically focused on issues identifed in the 2006 AFMW Report ‘Moving on From One Size Fits All: Towards Gender Mainstreaming in Medicine’

Results: The feminisation of the medical workforce has only partly addressed the structural barriers to entry for women doctors pursuing surgery as a career choice. These barriers include the structure of employment,onerous working hours,college training requirements, role strain of balancing childbirth and childcare,and limited opportunities for mentorship.

Conclusion: Targeted strategies in the development of workforce and training programs are required to facilitate the entry and completion of training programs by female surgical trainees. This will enable female surgical trainess to achieve their occupational preference rather than having to compromise their career choice and possibly leave the medical workforce.

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AFMW Author