There is no question that females often face discrimination on the job. In the medical field, this is still problematic, even though there is a good blend of men and women working as nurses, doctors and surgeons.
In a study from 2019 of 7,409 surgical residents, it was determined that approximately one in three had faced gender discrimination. One woman claimed that she was sidelined instead of being allowed to perform surgeries in favor of a white man who was also a resident at the time. She reported that her attending had asked for someone with “muscle” when she sought to participate.
This isn’t uncommon, unfortunately. Many women claim that they have been passed over in favor of male residents, even though those men may not be any more competent. It’s also not just their superiors who cause trouble. Women who go to speak with patients are often asked when the real doctor will arrive or be told that a man was expected in their place.
In interviews, women may be asked about their plans for having children and building a family. Men are rarely, if ever, asked the same thing. Additionally, female surgeons have, on average, a lower pay. They earn an average of $183,829, which is around $80,000 less than men in the same field.
What should female surgeons and residents do to help themselves?
It’s a reality that the medical field was primarily male for many decades. Today, people are adapting to females being in the workplace. It may be impossible to stop patients from admitting that they want to see a male or that they don’t feel a female is the right fit for their care, but in the hospital itself, the staff needs to be acutely aware of gender stereotyping and how quickly that can become discrimination.
If you are a surgeon or work in the medical field and are discriminated against because you’re female, you have a right to speak out and to ask that others are held responsible. You deserve to be treated equally in your workplace and to receive the same respect and opportunities as your male counterparts.