According to a study recently conducted by the ASPRS, female plastic surgeons are less likely to be married than their male colleagues. They’re also more likely to be childless or wait until later in life to have children. Yet, they work similar hours, practice about the same number of years, and appear to have similarly high levels of satisfaction with their careers.
The study, which was published in Annals of Plastic Surgery, found that 35% of the female surgeons were unmarried, while only 12% of the male surgeons were single. Not only that, 42.9% of the females had no children, compared to only 11.5% of the males.
What does this mean in the era of so-called equality in the workplace? For one thing it means that the past decade hasn’t necessarily made life easier for female plastic surgeons.
You can find a similar ASPS study done in 1992-1993 that also turned up significant differences in the private lives of female and male plastic surgeons. This study revealed that even a decade ago there were no significant differences between the male and female surgeons in terms of academic excellence, advanced training, or hours worked per week. And over 90% of the doctors who responded to the survey were happy with their career choices, similar to the 2010 study. But many more of the male plastic surgeons were married (89%) with children (86%) than their female counterparts (65% married, 54% with children.)
It’s good to know that both male and female surgeons are highly competent, dedicated to their work, and equally satisfied with their careers. Yet, the women are clearly making sacrifices in terms of postponing marriage and children.