A solution to gender inequity in surgery? Better caregiving policies
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SUMMARY: Attitudes toward women in surgery appear to be shifting in a positive direction. Why, then, do women still represent only 27% of surgeons in Canada? The answer may, at least in part, lie in the field's inability to adequately accommodate caregiving duties, which are still disproportionately "women's responsibilities" in our society. Although most Canadian academic centres now have paid maternity leave policies for trainees and faculty, these do not necessarily apply to surgeons working in the community, nor do they always reflect what occurs in practice. The perceived inability of the field to accommodate both personal and professional duties is often a significant deterrent to young women considering a career in surgery. In this commentary, we explore the need to address the "caregiver problem" as an important step toward achieving gender equity in surgery.
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