The top surgeons in the United States are more likely to be male, born in the Midwest, and of lower socioeconomic status than their female counterparts, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Plastic Surgery.
The study, which analyzed the data of nearly 1.1 million U.S. surgeons, also found that surgeons are more willing to take risks than those in other industries.
“Our study highlights that in the plastic industry, women are routinely underrepresented in key roles,” said lead author Emily Schoenfeld, a doctoral candidate at Emory University in Atlanta.
“They face challenges like having to travel to and from the office to perform surgeries, and they are less likely to get the training needed to be the best in their field.
These challenges make it difficult for women to enter this field of surgery.”
Schoenfeld conducted the study with colleagues Emily B. Tisdale, a Ph.
D. candidate in surgery at Emphases University in Houston; Jessica L. McInnis, a graduate student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; and Katherine A. Pechero, a senior research associate at the university’s Center for Women’s Health.
The researchers analyzed data on surgery data collected by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons between 2008 and 2020.
In that period, there were a total of 3,936 surgeons.
The data included surgery patterns, surgical locations, and patients.
The data also showed that women surgeons had an overall greater success rate in terms of their surgical results.
Women surgeons had higher success rates in the areas of surgical technique, surgery type, and surgical approach.
The most common surgical technique for women was open-circuit surgery, with 91 percent of all women surgeons and 76 percent of male surgeons performing open-loop procedures.
Women surgeons also performed more procedures than their male counterparts, and their success rates were lower for open-channel, closed-circumcision, and laparoscopic procedures.
The authors say that because of these surgical trends, it’s important for surgeons to understand the challenges they face.
“Surgeons should understand the importance of being an excellent surgeon and having the best training, especially if they’re a woman, and also the value of being patient-focused and patient-engaged,” Schoenfield said.
The paper is the first to compare surgery rates among surgeons based on the characteristics of the patients they treat.
Schoenfield noted that the study also focused on women and racial and ethnic minorities.
The researchers looked at the data to identify factors that might influence gender differences in the surgical workforce.
The authors also compared surgery patterns and surgical locations to understand how surgeons perform different surgeries, such as open- and closed-loop surgeries, open- or closed-channel surgery, and open- versus closed-throat surgery.
Schöndlin says the research could help surgeons identify potential barriers to their ability to perform surgery in underserved areas, such with people with disabilities, and for those who have lower incomes.
“We think it will be helpful for surgeons and for the society to learn more about these barriers,” Schöndin said.
Schünstlin also said that the research is an important step toward addressing the issue of surgical inequality in the U.K., where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the British Medical Association have pledged to improve women’s representation in the profession.
Schönfeld is now working on a second study focusing on surgery rates and surgical location in other countries.
Scholarships are available through the American Medical Association, which provides financial support to research on health care.