Gender Discrimination against female surgeons: a myth or a reality?
Hamza Jamil, Saman Tanveer, Anum Arif, Fatima Tanveer, Minahil Iram, Syed Hashim Ali Inam
Background: Gender discrimination is a prevalent concern among female physicians, particularly in male-dominated specialties. Manifesting as aggression, unequal opportunities, and lack of same-sex mentors among others, its effects translate as obstacles to personal well-being, and professional growth of female surgeons. This article is aimed to study the prevalence, nature and source of gender discrimination among female surgeons, country wide, in Pakistan. Methodology: We conducted the study from 20th July, 2020 to 20th December, 2020. Convenient random sampling was used and our sample size came out to be 72 in the given time period. Our participants included female surgeons and female surgery residents. A self-administered questionnaire was used. Results: Out of 72 female surgeons and surgery residents that participated in the study, 60(83%) participants reported facing gender discrimination at the work place, while only 12(17%) said that they did not. When inquired about the source, 24(40%) reported consultants of opposite gender, 12(20%) reported male nursing, 14(23.3%) reported fellow male residents, 8(13.3%) reported patients, and 2(3.3%) reported students as the source of the discrimination. Furthermore, 44(73.3%) stated having felt that they had to work harder than their male peers to achieve the same positions. Conclusions: Our study shows that gender discrimination is encountered by majority of female surgeons, across Pakistan. This discrimination interprets as increased effort on part of female surgeons in order to achieve the same career milestones as their male counterparts. This study highlights the need for further study and increased efforts to alleviate all and any gender bias in surgical fields. Keywords: Gender discrimination, female surgeon’s discrimination, bias against female surgeons, male and female surgeons