University of Connecticut Group Aims to Increase the Number of Women Surgeons

Women make up 30 percent of all medical physicians in the United States but only 19 percent of all surgeons. In the academic world, women are only 8 percent of the full professors of surgery and in the entire country there are only six women who chair a department of surgery at a medical school.

LindaBarryThe Women in Surgery Interest Group at the University of Connecticut is working to increase the number of women who complete surgical training. The group was established by Linda Barry an assistant professor of surgery at the university. Dr. Barry was the only woman in her medical school class that went on to surgical training. Later, she was the only woman in the department of surgery at the University of Connecticut, so she knew firsthand that women were rare in the surgical ranks.

“There’s been the perception that it’s difficult to have a family, it’s very hard work for very long hours and it’s not a supportive environment for women,” Dr. Barry says of a career in surgery. “That may have been true in the past but those things are quickly eroding.”

The goals of the Women in Surgery Interest Group are to encourage student research activities; recruit students to pursue surgery; educate each other, colleagues and the community; encourage mentoring and networking; and give students exposure to surgery as a profession.

Filed Under: Gender GapSTEM Fields


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