Female surgeons' alcohol use: a study of a national sample of norwegian doctors

Alcohol Alcohol. 2005 Sep-Oct;40(5):436-40. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agh186. Epub 2005 Jul 25.


Aims: This study was designed to describe the alcohol use by female surgeons and the hazards of their drinking habits for them compared with the habits of female doctors from non-surgical specialities, and with those of their male colleagues in surgery, and to identify the variables associated with hazardous drinking.

Methods: The data were collected in 2000 from a representative national sample of 1120 Norwegian doctors. Alcohol use was measured using a modified version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. A score of 9 or more was used as an indicator of hazardous drinking.

Results: Female surgeons compared with female non-surgeons had tendencies for more frequent moderate alcohol consumption accompanied by more frequent consumption of larger amounts of alcohol, and a significantly higher rate of hazardous drinking (18 vs 7.6%). Being a surgeon (OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.2-2.4), male (OR = 2.7, 1.7-4.1) and aged 45 years or over (OR = 1.5, 1.1-2.2) were significant predictors of hazardous drinking. With separate gender analyses, being a surgeon was a significant predictor for both females (OR = 2.8, 1.2-6.6) and males (OR = 1.5, 1.0-2.3).

Conclusion: Female surgeons practising in Norway drink more frequently and more hazardously than other female doctors. There are a number of possible explanations for this. Surgical culture may be an important factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • General Surgery*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Physician Impairment / psychology
  • Physician Impairment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians, Women / psychology
  • Physicians, Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sampling Studies