Association of Sex With Perceived Career Barriers Among Surgeons | Surgery | JAMA Surgery | JAMA Network
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    Research Letter
    September 11, 2019

    Association of Sex With Perceived Career Barriers Among Surgeons

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle
    • 2Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle
    • 3Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle
    JAMA Surg. 2019;154(12):1155-1158. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.2648

    Women account for 19.2% of practicing general surgeons1 and 9.8% of professors in academic surgery.2 While the origin of this disparity is multifactorial, we hypothesize that women and men experience different barriers to a surgical career. We investigated sex differences in perception of career barriers among faculty and resident physicians at our academic institution.

    The institutional review board at the University of Washington approved the administration of an anonymous, modified Career Barriers Inventory3 to faculty and resident physicians in the Divisions of General Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, and Vascular Surgery at the University of Washington, Seattle. The inventory was administered via RedCap to faculty physicians and on paper to resident physicians during January and February 2017. Using a 5-point Likert scale, the survey queried demographics, perceived career barriers, and the confidence to overcome barriers. Data were analyzed within 5 domains: career, social support, family, children, and sex. Women and men were compared within the resident and faculty physician cohorts.