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|Title:||Navigating parenthood in the surgical profession: mixed-methods study.|
Commons, Robert J.
|Publication Title:||British Journal of Surgery|
|Abstract:||Background: Significant barriers exist to surgeons being good parents and parents being good surgeons, and these barriers are heightened for women. Considering the gender balance now present in postgraduate medical schools, it is critical that these barriers are overcome if surgery is to attract and retain applicants. This study aimed to investigate patterns of parenthood in surgery, explore associated attitudes and experiences, and identify barriers and solutions within an Australian and New Zealand context. Methods: Surgeons and trainees were invited to participate in a survey and focus groups. Quantitative results were described, and textual responses and focus group transcriptions were analysed thematically. Results: There were 261 survey respondents (62.8 per cent women, 37.2 per cent men) and six focus groups (34 participants). Of the survey respondents, 79.6 per cent of women and 86.5 per cent of men had children. Women were more likely to time childbirth around training or work, and most respondents without children attributed this to their career. Tensions between parenthood and surgery engendered guilt for surgeon-parents. Parenthood was often the 'elephant in the room' in training and employment discussions. Breaking the silence around parenthood and surgery made it more acceptable, normalising positive behaviour changes. The major barrier to parenthood and surgery was the lack of flexible training opportunities. Participants called for top-down establishment of mandated, stand-alone, permanent part-time training positions. Conclusion: Many barriers to parenthood in surgery are created by rigid workplace and professional structures that are reflective of male-dominated historical norms. A willingness to be flexible, innovative and rethink models of training and employment is central to change.|
|Internal ID Number:||02066|
|Health Subject:||SURGICAL PROFESSION|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Output|
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