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Article
June 5, 1991

A Pregnant Surgical Resident? Oh My!

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus.

From the Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus.

JAMA. 1991;265(21):2859-2860. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460210105040
Abstract

Women currently make up 39% of US medical school applicants and 34% of graduates.1 Almost all graduates enter residency programs, but, until recently, women infrequently chose surgical careers. This has changed dramatically in recent years; in 1982, 875 surgical residents were women, but in 1990, 3709 were women, and this number is increasing each year.2 Nearly half of the residents in obstetrics and approximately 14% of general surgical residents are women, who are enrolled in programs varying in length from 4 years (basic obstetrics) to 9 years (academic programs in pediatric, thoracic, or vascular surgery). The average age of medical school graduates is 28 years3; a typical chief surgical resident is 32 years old. Residencies, especially the lengthy surgical programs, span a vital portion of prime childbearing years for all of these women. Pregnancy during residency, even a surgical residency, can and should be anticipated. What are

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