Female Plastic Surgeons in America: Do they exist?

October 11, 2014

The percentage of women who pursue a career in plastic surgery is only at 17%, despite the fact that US medical schools’ percentages of women have been nearly 50% for well over ten years. The percentage is currently low, compared to other specialties like pediatrics, due to the intensive training that was involved in becoming a plastic surgeon 15 years ago. In many training programs, fulfilling the dream of becoming a plastic surgeon involved completing a 5 year general surgery residency, then a 2 year plastic surgery residency. Many female medical students may have felt that a 7 year intensive residency might preclude sustainable family life.

More recently, the number of years required to complete a plastic surgery residency has decreased to 5 years, which is still longer that most other residencies. This will help the trend of more women in plastic surgery to continue to increase.

There is also data documenting the increasing percentage of women pursuing surgical residencies .  https://www.womensurgeons.org/aws_library/WomeninSurgeryResidency.pdf


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