Health, Happiness, Wellness and Women

Health, Happiness, Wellness and Women

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
February 25, 2022
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Study: Discrepancies in work-family balance ‘uniquely impact female orthopedic surgeons’

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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According to published results, there are several discrepancies in work-family integration between female and male orthopedic surgeons that “appear to uniquely impact female orthopedic surgeons.”

Danielle Y. Ponzio, MD, and investigators at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute performed an anonymous survey, which queried 153 female (mean age of 41.1 years) and 194 male (mean age of 50.1 years) orthopedic surgeons on the domains of work, family and satisfaction.

OT0222Ponzio_Graphic_01
Women more frequently delayed starting a family, required more fertility treatments, carried more responsibility at home, held fewer academic and leadership roles and earned lower incomes compared with men. Data were derived from Ponzio DY, et al. J Bone Joint Surg. 2021;doi:10.2106/JBJS.21.00345.

Researchers of the survey found that compared with men, women more frequently delayed starting a family, required more fertility treatments, carried more responsibility at home, held fewer academic and leadership roles, earned lower incomes and were less satisfied with work-family balance overall.

Among those surveyed, 60.3% of men had been in practice for more than 10 years compared with 26.1% of women. A smaller percentage of the women held consulting positions, course faculty positions and academic and leadership titles relative to the men. Mean yearly income was $300,000 to $400,000 for women and $400,000 to $500,000 for men.

According to the study, women were also more likely to never marry, marry at a later mean age, have no children and require fertility treatment. Female surgeons reported more responsibility in parenting and household duties. Overall satisfaction in work-family balance was 72.3% in women and 82.1% in men.

“This study highlights deficiencies in work-family integration that appear to uniquely impact female orthopedic surgeons,” the researchers wrote in the study. “We hope that a more detailed understanding of the discrepancies between male and female orthopedic surgeons can serve as a foundation on which to create strategies that support work-family integration and improve the accessibility of orthopedic surgery as a career for women,” they added.