The March issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons featured a study reporting the following demographic changes between 1999/2000 and 2004/2005:
- A higher proportion of females among the graduating classes of US medical schools: from 43% to 47%.
- Increased proportion of women in applicant pool for general surgery programs: 27% to 33%.
- An increase, from 32% to 40%, in proportion of female general surgery interns.
- Obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, urology, and plastic surgery also saw increased proportion of females.
- Neurosurgery was the only surgical specialty to see a decline.
Previous studies have suggested the following factors influence decision making for female medical students: percentage of women on the surgical faculty, presence of on-site childcare, and policies regarding sex-based discrimination and maternity leave.
Article in Medscape Medical News by Megan Brooks
Study Abstract in J Am Coll Surg. 2011;212:320-326.