Choosing a Male Specialty:Women Surgeons

Cite As:
Savyon-Maram Pazit. Choosing a Male Specialty:Women Surgeons Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2009.
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The revolution in society which occurred in the last decades due to social and organizational changes has a great impact on our life in general and on occupational changes related to women in particular. Slow changes started appearing in life styles, to which many medical students reacted, by changing their list of priorities in ranking specialty choices and considering the implication of their choices, on life style. Women reacted to these changes, and an increasing number of women entered medicine, in general, and masculine specialties like surgery in particular. Still, data from Israel and abroad, supported by theoretical literature, indicate that despite the increase in female participation in the labor force, women are still underrepresented in occupations which are traditionally male. This situation encompasses medicine in
general, and certain subspecialties, in particular, which have been predominantly controlled by men throughout history. Surgery, consisted mostly of men throughout years, and therefore was characterized as "masculine" and "boys club".
Till the last two decades, the number of women who chose or succeeded in entering the surgical field was relatively small' and a masculine culture as well as, discrimination in surgery appeared in the scientific literature as a strong deterrent of women from choosing surgery as specialty. The goal of this study is to present a description of women surgeons perceptions of the medical specialty- surgery, and to reveal the unique characteristics of women surgeons in Israel. These two goals will be studied by means of a thorough literature review examining the various factors, and by surveying female physicians who were involved in these changes.

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