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Resident's Forum
November 15, 2010

Women in Surgery: A Survey in Switzerland

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations:Division of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation (Drs Kaderli, Guller, and Businger), Departments of Surgery, University Hospital Bern, Bern, and Spital Bulach, Bulach (Dr Muff), Switzerland; Services-in-Statistics, Wurzburg, Germany (Dr Stefenelli).



Arch Surg. 2010;145(11):1119-1121. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.245

An increasing proportion of women work in medicine; however, only few choose surgical specialties. The objective of this study was to analyze the current situation of female surgeons and surgical residents in Switzerland concerning their personal and professional fulfillment. Of 318 female surgeons and surgical residents included in our study, 189 (59.4%) returned the anonymous questionnaire. Mentor-mentee relationships were mentioned by 110 (58.2%) of the 189 respondents. On the basis of a 7-point Likert scale, these women responded that they were moderately satisfied with their professional (mean score [SD], 2.7 [1.3]) and personal (mean score [SD], 3.0 [1.7]) lives. Of the 189 respondents, 113 (59.8%) mentioned that they felt underappreciated. The most important ways suggested for increasing the attractiveness of a surgical career for women were a reduction in workload (49 respondents [25.9%]), more flexible working hours (38 respondents [20.1%]), and better structured residency programs (23 respondents [12.2%]).