Abstract Category: Research

Purpose: Orthopedic surgery has traditionally been, and continues to be, a male-dominated field. Although the number of female orthopedic surgeons has increased over the past several decades, orthopedic surgery remains one of the most underrepresented specialties for female physicians. Several factors have been suggested as possible contributors to the underrepresentation of women in orthopedic surgery, including lack of exposure to female mentors in orthopedic surgery, negative perception of work/life balance, traditional view of the field as “masculine”, and belief that physical strength is essential. The purpose of this abstract is to provide an analysis of the rate of increase in women in orthopedic surgery residencies compared to general surgery residencies from the years 2007-2016.

Methods: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Data Resource Book for the years 2007-2016 was used to extract data. We focused on the distribution of sex between orthopedic surgery and general surgery residencies. Proportions and crude odds ratios with corresponding 95% confidence intervals were calculated and presented.

Findings: Between the year 2007-2016, the number of female residents in both orthopedic surgery and general surgery has increased. Overall the proportion of females in general surgery has increased by almost 8.7% between the academic years of 2007-2008 through 2015-2016, while the proportion of females in orthopedic surgery has increased by only 2.4%. The odds of being female increased by 20% from 2007-2008 to 2015-2016 among orthopedic surgery residency (OR 1.20; 95% CI 1.04-1.39), while odds of being female increased by 42% from 2007-2008 to 2015-2016 in a general surgery residency (OR 1.42; 95% CI 1.32-1.52).

Implications for Practice: Over the past decade, there have been numerous programs and interventions implemented with the goal of increasing a female presence in the field of orthopedics. However, historically and currently, a significant gender disparity exists in this particular surgical subspecialty. Our goal, in addition to recognizing and commending the increase in female presence over the past ten years, is to call notice to the slow increase in comparison to general surgery residencies. In sum, we urge the Orthopedic community to continue their efforts in providing mentoring and resources to females interested in entering a career in Orthopedics, while simultaneously seeking other outlets and interventions to accelerate growth.

Publication Date


Presented At:

2018 West Kendall Baptist Hospital Scholarly Showcase

Content Type



Authors (FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Affiliates):

Haley M. McKissack, B.S. Medical Student

Miriam D. Weisberg, B.S. Medical Student

Lauren E. Dittman, B.A. Medical Student

Open Access

Available to all.