Factors influencing the intention to pursue surgery among female pre-medical students: A cross-sectional study in Pakistan
Medical College Pakistan; Surgery
Background: While gender disparities in surgery are documented worldwide, it is unclear to what extent women consider surgery as a career before embarking on their medical school journey. This study aimed to report the percentage of pre-medical women in Pakistan who intend to eventually specialize in surgery and assess the factors motivating and deterring this decision.
Methods: An online survey was conducted among female pre-medical (high school) students across Pakistan. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine motivating and deterring factors associated with the intention to pursue surgery.
Results: Out of 1219 female high-school students, 764 (62.7) intended to join medical school. Among these 764, only 9.8% reported an exclusive intent to pursue surgery, while just 20.3% reported considering other specialties in addition to surgery. Significant motivators to pursue surgery exclusively were the intellectual satisfaction of pursuing surgery (adjusted odds ratio: 2.302), having opportunities to travel internationally for work (2.300) and use cutting-edge technology (2.203), interest in the specialty of surgery (2.031), the social prestige of becoming a surgeon (1.910), and considering one's personality well-suited to surgery (1.888). Major deterrents included the lack of interest in surgery (adjusted odds ratio: 3.812), surgical education and training being too difficult (2.440) and lengthy (1.404), and the risk of aggressive behavior from patients (2.239).
Conclusion: Even before entering medical school, most female pre-medical students have already decided against considering a future surgical career. Deterrents likely stem from women being pressured to conform to deep-seated societal expectations to dedicate their time and energy to domestic responsibilities.
World journal of surgery
Martins, R. S.,
Fatimi, A. S.,
Malik, M. A.
(2022). Factors influencing the intention to pursue surgery among female pre-medical students: A cross-sectional study in Pakistan. World journal of surgery.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_mc/281