The authors of this study collected and evaluated 4222 surveys of patient satisfaction ratings of male and female residents across subspecialties in the United States. Half of the evaluated residents were females, with first and second year residents being evaluated most frequently. Internal medicine conducted the most surveys while head and neck surgery conducted the least. The study results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between patients’ perception of male and female residents of the same year in overall communication skills, medical expertise, and quality of medical care. Female residents outperformed their male counterparts on specific questions evaluating the communication of treatment plans, patient education, and patient. The study concludes that gender inequalities currently exist most starkly in surgical subspecialties. However, women in surgical residencies were much better communicators than their male counterparts, but still perceived to have similar levels of medical expertise and quality of care. As of 2016, more than half of graduating medical students in the US were females. However, women continue to be underrepresented in several surgical specialties like orthopaedics, neurosurgery, and thoracic surgery. Only 12% of residents in neurosurgery programmes are females and females comprise only 7.9% of thoracic surgeons. Luckily, otorhinolaryngology has a good female representation. Lack of role models, the existing perception of sexism during residency, and lifestyle or family planning concerns are the perceived obstacles for women interested in pursuing surgical specialties. This study highlights that gender inequality in medical specialties persists even after more than a century of women starting to obtain medical education.
Gender inequality across medical specialties in the United States
Reviewed by Gauri Mankekar
Patient Satisfaction Ratings of Male and Female Residents Across Subspecialties.
Department of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.View Full Profile