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Invited Commentary
August 26, 2020

Sex Inequity in Surgical Training

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgical Sciences, Dunedin School of Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 2Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Medicine, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 3STaR Centre–Surgical and Translational Research Centre, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Medicine, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
JAMA Surg. 2020;155(11):1026-1027. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.3022

The study by Joh et al1 exposes substantial sex inequity in general surgical training in New Zealand. This finding was drawn from a data set of more than 119 000 procedures performed by trainees between 2013 and 2017.

Male and female trainees performed a similar number of cases overall; however, disaggregation of the data by sex revealed that female trainees performed statistically significantly fewer cases autonomously (ie, without a surgeon-supervisor scrubbed at the table).1 This inequity persisted despite controlling for factors relating to trainees and training environment and was seen for all procedure types. The difference was particularly marked for major procedures, where the odds ratio of a female trainee performing a case autonomously was 0.69 (95% CI, 0.54-0.87; P = .002).

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