To the Editor The recent Viewpoint by Babchenko and Gast1 raised an overall dissenting perspective among female residents at our general surgical training program. Within education, there is an entire body of literature devoted to expectation-based achievement and how the expectations of teachers can mediate a learner’s beliefs about their own abilities as well as their eventual accomplishments.2,3 Survey-based studies have demonstrated that the viewpoints of surgeons training residents can greatly affect the confidence of trainees, particularly female trainees.4 The concept that learners rise to the expectations of their instructors, even if those expectations are low, is a powerful one. If we accept the position of the authors, we present female surgical residents with the idea that they are merely porcelain dolls with scalpels: inherently lacking in confidence, in need of special ego curation and alternate training tracks in which to develop the conviction and poise needed to practice surgery. In such an environment, female residents will come to believe that about themselves regardless of whether it is true. In the sense of the ego, fragility is often a learned concept rather than an inherited condition.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Sorber R, Weaver ML, Tsai LL. Training of Male and Female Surgical Residents. JAMA Surg. Published online July 29, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.2430
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: