Discrimination against the female surgeon in the exercise of her profession

Irma Sánchez-Montes, Servicio de Cirugía General, Hospital General Tláhuac, Secretaría de Salud de la Ciudad de México, Ciudad de México, México
Celina Cuéllar-Aguirre, Departamento de Cirugía General, Hospital General de Boca del Río, Secretaría de Salud, Boca del Río, Veracruz, México
María N. Gómez-Herrera, Departamento de Cirugía General, Hospital General Dr. Miguel Silva, Morelia, Michoacán, México
Elena López-Gavito, Departamento de Cirugía General, Hospital Sharp, Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México
María E. Baridó-Murguía, Departamento de Cirugía General, Médica Sur, Ciudad de México, México
Abilene Escamilla-Ortiz, Servicio de Cirugía General, Hospital Regional 1.o de Octubre del Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado, Ciudad de México, México
María del C. Barradas-Guevara, Departamento de Cirugía General, Hospital General de Cholula, Secretaría de Salud, Cholula, Puebla. México

Objective: To describe the discrimination experienced by the general female surgeon. Method: Prospective, cross-sectional and descriptive study, with a survey of 30 questions, closed, anonymous, voluntary and confidential, distributed through a link in the WhatsApp chat in a closed group of female surgeons who are members of the Asociación Mexicana de Cirugía General. Results: 146 female surgeons participated, with a response rate of 58.4%. The discrimination perceived by female surgeons in training was 86 (58.9%), and 28 (19.2%) when they are already surgeons by not allowing them to perform the same procedures as their peers. Regarding the patients, discrimination against female surgeons was 72 (49.3%). They do not call them doctors, but “ladies”, in 126 (86.3%), and they are asked to perform nursing duties in 120 (82.2%). On the other hand, there is also discrimination against female surgeons by nursing staff in 87 (59.6%). Conclusions: Discrimination is common in the daily surgical practice of female surgeons in all three areas: peers, patients, and nursing staff. This is an initial work, where the quantification of discrimination in Mexico is carried out. Strategies must be implemented to avoid discrimination against female surgeons and be in an environment of equality.

Keywords: Female surgeons. Discrimination. Gender.