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Invited Commentary
August 30, 2019

Knowing Better and Doing Better to Advance Women in Academic Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Services Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham
JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(8):e1910211. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.10211

Academic surgery has long been considered among the most difficult career environments for women,1 and there is growing urgency to address sex equity and create environments that are more inclusive. The article by Thompson-Burdine et al2 provides nuanced and valuable insights into barriers and facilitators for success in advancing women in surgery. Through in-depth interviews with 26 female surgeons with almost 2 decades of experience in a single academic department, the study describes the complex issues that must be understood and addressed for progress to be made, such as organizational culture, institutional policies, and relational interactions. The authors also identify how the individual characteristics of female surgeons may mediate their perceptions of these issues and of career success.

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