Gender differences in general surgical careers: results of a post-residency survey

Am J Surg. 2005 Dec;190(6):955-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.08.027.


Background: This study's purpose was to gain perspective regarding general surgery career choices while examining gender differences.

Methods: Graduates of a general surgery residency (n = 189) received surveys addressing fellowship training, practice type, case composition, work hours, academic involvement, income, residency, and career satisfaction.

Results: Several gender differences were identified. Most men (64%) listed general surgery as their primary work type, whereas women most commonly reported breast surgery (38%, P < .001). More women worked <40 hours per week (25% versus 9%, P = .049). There was no gender difference in income for fellowship-trained surgeons, but a disparity in income >200,000 dollars favored non-fellowship-trained men (74% versus 36%, P = .0031). Both genders reduced work hours. Women reduced them exclusively for personal/family demands. Both genders reported satisfaction with their surgical careers (93%).

Conclusions: Some gender differences in surgery were identified. However, both genders maintain a high level of satisfaction with their career choice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice*
  • Education, Graduate / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors