We recently presented a paper of our latest research into the experiences of UK male and female surgical trainees at the BPS conference (Division of Organisational Psychology) in Brighton.
Our analysis shows that male and female trainees show very few differences when they first embark on training (in terms of perceptions of fitting in with surgeons, identification with surgeons and a desire to pursue another occupation). However, over time, women come to report less favourable levels of these variables than their male colleagues. This supports our claims that the very masculine surgical environment may subtly harm women’s motivations to pursue a career in surgery.
We also found that women felt that they are performing more poorly than their male colleagues; importantly, the objective data that we collected shows that this is not correct. In other words, women progress through their training just as fast as men do, and perform just as well.
You can find more information about our research here: