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To the Editor.
—Dr. Nadelson editorialized (Archives 102:234) that the reason few women are found in the field of surgery is a lack of acceptance from male colleagues or program directors. For better or worse, the prejudice she cited is found as well among patients, and has been for some time as demonstrated by an editorial of 150 years ago:Were a lady... to produce from her pocket a case of Surgeon's instruments, everybody would feel confounded, and nobody, I presume would submit to the hands of the operator—be they ever so fair, and her probes and lancets ever so bright (J Health 1:155, 1829).It will be necessary for the public's image of "woman" or "surgeon" to change before the two can easily coexist in one person.
Jacobs LA. The Patient's View of Women in the Field of Surgery. Arch Surg. 1972;105(1):128. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180070126031