orm_june-2024 - 20

Safety
Dr Yeo has advocated for medical
device companies and engineers to
work together to improve the design
and ergonomics of surgical devices,
including developing devices in multiple
sizes or that are adjustable.
With growing recognition of the need
for surgical tools and personal protective
equipment designed for women,
some universities are providing opportunities
for students and medical professionals
to brainstorm new solutions.
Harvard Grid, which brings together the
engineering department and Harvard's
tech transfer office to form new tech
ventures, hosted an event last year on
the need for surgical tools designed
with women in mind.
Preventing obstacles for
surgeons from becoming
obstacles for patients
Obstacles for women in surgery are particularly
stark. Women surgeons earn
$83,000 per year less than their male
counterparts. Women surgeons are
18% less likely to be named full professors,
and only 15% of surgical chairs
are women. " These are the two major
issues: Pay equity...and opportunities
for advancement, " Dr Fox says. " You'll
hear about work-life balance-and while
that is a real issue for men and women,
it's not the main thing that is limiting
the advancement of women in surgery. "
Additionally, data suggest female
surgeons are particularly rare. About
half of medical school students are
women, but less than a quarter of these
graduates pursue surgical specialties.
The only exceptions are gynecology and
obstetrics, where women outnumber
men.
" Now that we know, what do we
do? " Dr Fox says. " In a hospital, if you
run a surgical department, should you
look at all the salaries and ensure equity?
If you are a CEO of a hospital,
should you look at your leadership and
determine if there's too much homogeneity
and make a change? "
20
OR Manager | June 2024
Documentary '1001 Cuts' shares women
surgeons' stories
To showcase the story of women surgeons-
including the gender discrimination they face
and how they overcome it-gynecologic oncologist
Sarah M. Temkin, MD, produced
a documentary, 1001 Cuts. Shown at a
number of 2024 film festivals, including the
Bethesda Film Festival, the DC Independent
Film Festival, and Women's Voices Now, the
documentary is intended to show stories of
resilience and let women surgeons know they
are not alone.
" After speaking with other surgeons, I
found a common theme: A lack of respect
and support in the OR, " Dr Temkin told
Healio.
She noted that she hopes the film will
spark conversation, and provide potential
solutions to gender inequities in surgery.
Whatever the solution, the need is
dire-and not just for
" My hope is that this film allows space for
women, health care administrators, nurses,
physicians and everyone to discuss these
experiences openly, " she says.
1001 Cuts is more than just a documentary.
Complementing the film is a related
podcast, Voices in Medicine, as well as a
blog covering issues ranging from equipment
that doesn't fit to dealing with unprofessional
behavior to occupational segregation. Learn
more at www.1001cuts.org/more-info.
References
1001 Cuts. 2024.
Southall, J. Documentary aims to expose
gender inequality, need for reform in surgical
field. Healio. May 6, 2021.
the surgeons'
sake. Evidence suggests disparities in
how surgeons are treated can lead to
disparities in how patients are treated,
too.
For example, even as female surgeons
remain underrepresented, recent
study data show female patients fare
better when their surgeon is a woman.
Looking at more than 1 million patients
treated by nearly 3,000 surgeons in
Canada, the researchers did not offer
definitive reasons for this disparity.
However, the findings pointed to a
number of likely culprits, such as:
* dismissal of women's symptoms
by male doctors
* women patients reporting less
pain
* women preferring same-sex doctors
for sensitive examinations
* male doctors failing to properly
identify and intervene when
women patients demonstrate
deviations from expected postoperative
outcomes.
" In order to receive good care, patients
need to be comfortable with physicians,
and they need to be heard, " Dr
Fox says.
Driving at the heart of the issue
Heart disease-which is preventable if
caught early and treated-is a prime example
of the way that lack of research,
bias, and one-size-fits-all care has led to
poorer outcomes for women.
The landmark Framingham Heart
Study-a multigenerational study of
cardiovascular health in the US that
began in 1948 and has come to include
over 15,000 participants-only began
to report on how heart disease has specifically
impacted women in the mid1980s.
The results were eye-opening.
Researchers discovered that women
are more likely to die from an acute
cardiac event and are more likely to
have a poor prognosis following such
an event. They are diagnosed later in
life than men, when the condition is
more deadly. When it comes to strokes,
there are a number of gender differwww.ormanager.com
https://www.1001cuts.org/more-info http://www.1001cuts.org/ https://www.healio.com/news/hematology-oncology/20210506/documentary-aims-to-expose-gender-inequality-need-for-reform-in-surgical-field http://www.ormanager.com

orm_june-2024

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