Medicine And Multimedia

The Woman in the Surgeon's Body

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 17 October 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1088
  1. Sarah Creighton, consultant
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College London Hospitals

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    Harvard University Press

    21$.95, pp 267

    ISBN 0 674 95467 X

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    “Anybody but the girl! Give me a trained monkey—I'drather have anybody but the girl!” So raged a male senior surgeon intheatres when scheduled to have a female trainee assisting him. Thisis just one episode illustrating this riveting study on women surgeons in the United States. “What's an anthropologist doingstudying surgeons?” the author was asked while conducting a study on21male surgeons; she replied (perhaps jokingly), “Well, there were no other primitives left.” She now turns her attention to women surgeons, and clearly the term primitives was not a misrepresentationof many of their male colleagues.

    The author studied 33 women surgeons of differing ages practising in eastern andmid-western United States. There was a wide representation of career stages and surgical …

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