Historically, medical practice has been an occupation dominated by men. From the 1960s onward, more and more women in the United States began to pursue medical careers, so by the turn of this century, women constituted half of all medical school graduates. Their inroad into surgery has moved at a slower pace, and it is only recently that they have begun to develop strength in numbers in general surgery and the surgical specialties. Women now constitute 25% to 30% of all surgical residents, and the percentage is increasing in approximately 1% increments yearly. It is a likely possibility that within 20 years, the majority of surgeons in the United States will be women.
Blaisdell W. One Tough Surgeon: Muriel Steele, MD. Arch Surg. 2008;143(2):200–203. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2007.35
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