NYMC Faculty Publications

Challenges to Professional Success for Women Plastic Surgeons: An International Survey

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Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

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Second Department

Epidemiology and Community Health


BACKGROUND: Female plastic surgeons face specific challenges in their careers that impact lifestyle and professional choices.

OBJECTIVE: The authors sought to delineate these specific issues further through means of an anonymous survey and to suggest areas for improvement.

METHODS: In August 2017, a link to an online email questionnaire via SurveyMonkey.com was sent to 398 women members of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which included questions on demographics, surgical training, practice characteristics and preferences, leadership and professional activities, marriage and childcare, financial status, workplace sexism and sexual harassment and surgeon attitudes.

RESULTS: A total of 138 female plastic surgeons responded to the survey for a response rate of 34.7%. Critical issues most cited by respondents included work-life balance and childcare responsibilities, sexual harassment and the lack of gender parity at meetings.

CONCLUSIONS: Plastic surgery training programs, institutions and societies should acknowledge the additional challenges that female surgeons face. The greatest areas for improvement include the balance of work and family responsibilities, addressing the prevalence of sexual harassment and improved representation at scientific meetings.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .