Intended for healthcare professionals


The long road to gender equity in surgery

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 28 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2263

Linked Research

Comparison of short term surgical outcomes of male and female gastrointestinal surgeons in Japan

  1. Cherry E Koh, colorectal surgeon1 2 3 4
  1. 1Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. 2Department of Colorectal Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. 3RPA Institute of Academic Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. 4Discipline of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
  1. Cherry.koh{at}

Progress must accelerate in the interests of both patients and surgeons

The issue of gender equity continues to pervade all aspects of medicine and surgery. Despite gender parity among students entering medical school in most western countries, studies have shown that women are less likely to enter surgery, more likely to drop out of surgical training, and less likely to secure a consultant position in a teaching hospital on completion of training.123

Gender inequity persists even for female consultant surgeons.4 Studies have shown preferential referral from male doctors to male surgeons, reduced opportunity for promotion to leadership roles, and worse remuneration—all despite female surgeons having equal or possibly better patient outcomes than male surgeons.56

In a linked paper (doi:10.1136/bmj-2022-070568), Okoshi and colleagues compared the surgical outcomes of male and female surgeons in Japan after three common procedures (distal gastrectomy, total gastrectomy, and low anterior resection).7 The researchers used the Japanese National …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription