Factors That Influence Orthopedic Women Residents’ Selection of Adult Reconstruction

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Journal of Arthroplasty


Background: Stereotypes may discourage women from going into the historically male-dominated field of Adult Reconstruction. Other factors such as interest, confidence, and a sense of belonging may influence subspecialty choice. The objective of this study was to survey orthopedic surgery residents regarding their perceptions about Adult Reconstruction. Methods: A validated survey evaluating social determinants of behavior was adapted to assess orthopedic surgery residents’ perceptions of Adult Reconstruction. The survey was electronically distributed to residents from 16 United States and Canadian Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education–accredited residency programs. There were 93 respondents including 39 women (42%) and 54 men (58%). Study data were collected and managed using an electronic data capture tool. Descriptive statistics were reported for all continuous variables. Percentiles and sample sizes were reported for categorical variables. Results: Women and men reported similar interest in Adult Reconstruction (46% versus 41%, P = .60). Fewer women reported that they were encouraged to go into Adult Reconstruction by faculty (62% versus 85%, P = .001). Women and men reported similar confidence in their own ability to succeed in the subspecialty of Adult Reconstruction. However, when asked about the ability of other residents, both sexes rated men as having higher levels of confidence. Women and men perceived other residents and faculty felt “men are better Adult Reconstruction surgeons,” but did not personally agree with this statement. Conclusion: Women and men residents expressed similar rates of interest and self-confidence in Adult Reconstruction, but there were social barriers including negative stereotypes that may prevent them from pursuing careers in Adult Reconstruction.

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