Why do female residents perform fewer operations on average than their male counterparts? That is the question we must answer, and find ways to remediate, if the Gong et al study1 findings hold true with further investigation.
The authors1 report results from a study of 24 of 119 of all the US ophthalmology residency programs (20.2%) that volunteered to be part of the project. The bottom line was that mean cataract volume was 176.7 for the male residents and 161.7 for female residents, a significant difference, and in my mind, a relevant difference. Total procedural volumes were also significantly off balance and relevant, at 509.4 vs 451.3, respectively. The difference was not explained by the parental leave analysis performed. The difference held true for all 3 years of residency. Not every program had a disparity, although most did: 17 of 24 (70.8%) for the cataract metric and 20 of 24 (83.3%) for the total procedures.
Haller JA, Zhang Q. A Seat at the Operating Room Table in Ophthalmology Surgery. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online July 18, 2019137(9):1020–1021. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.2426
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