Importance of gender-specific role models in vascular surgery.
The percentage of female physicians selecting vascular surgery for residency and/or fellowship lags behind percentages in general surgery selections. A number of factors, such as mentorship, gender biases, lifestyle, and job characteristics, have been proposed as explanations for the lower percentage of applicants. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether selective lifestyle, mentorship, and associated job considerations were more commonly identified by female vascular surgeons during their decision-making process for their specialty. The study used a survey sent to vascular surgery residents and fellows. Questions were related to mentorship, lifestyle, and job characteristics and were analyzed using a series of bivariate comparisons. The findings suggest that both men and women rarely report a female mentor in medical school, and that female vascular surgeons were less likely than others to have children. As in other studies, we found that females lack female role models during medical school. With respect to career choice, no lifestyle or job characteristics were statistically different between female vascular surgeons and male counterparts. This finding contrasts with previous reports. This study confirms the lack of female mentorship in vascular surgery and questions the importance of job and lifestyle characteristics in relation to career selection.
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