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Invited Commentary
May 19, 2021

Life Happens, Even to Surgical Trainees

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 2Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 3Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California
JAMA Surg. 2021;156(7):653. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.1811

The culture of surgical training is rapidly evolving. As the proportion of women graduating from US medical schools has risen, so has the number of women choosing surgical careers; nevertheless, women remain underrepresented in surgery.1,2 Although the 80-hour workweek has introduced some predictability into duty hours, general surgery attrition remains greater than 20%, and women having children during surgical training may be at high risk, given the structural, cultural, financial, and sociopolitical challenges pregnant and postpartum residents face.3,4 As more women choose to have children during surgical residency, it is imperative that these challenges are addressed, because these are likely the same factors deterring women from a surgical career at the outset.5

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