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November 1996

Invited Commentary

Author Affiliations

Oregon Health Sciences University Portland

Arch Surg. 1996;131(11):1135. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430230017003

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This study demonstrates that the small number of women who complete training and certification as cardiothoracic surgeons do the same kind of work, work the same number of hours, and report a similar degree of job satisfaction as male cardiothoracic surgeons despite receiving lower salaries and more sluggish promotions and perceiving more discrimination and harassment during training.

Before accepting too quickly the differences found by the authors, it is important to point out some weaknesses in the study methods. The female and male cardiothoracic surgeons were selected differently and had a different rate of response to the survey; the inclusion of an unspecified number of older male surgeons and women trained but not certified in cardiothoracic surgery further clouds the validity of their results.

Nevertheless, their findings reveal significant differences in a few areas that should provoke the concern of those in leadership positions and the need for change. Surgical

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