Working for your Health


Women in Surgery: Fixing the shortage

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 18:06:01-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Surgery is a field long-dominated by men. But one woman surgeon is on a mission to change that. And for good reason.

The U.S. is facing a shortage of general surgeons in the coming years. So, she’s pushing to get more women interested in choosing surgery as a career.

This is a rare sight! A woman surgeon leading an all-female group of students on rounds at the hospital.

“I think being a woman surgeon is incredible. It’s the most rewarding profession,” Dr Sharona Ross, advanced GI Robotic surgeon, said.

Dr. Ross is in an elite group. With few women.

While 54 percent of all medical students are women. Only 24 percent choose surgery.

“I always thought surgery was kind of a male kind of thing ‘oh, you can’t raise a family’ is kind of the thing I’ve been told,” Sydni Schlosser, University of South Florida Pre-Med Student said.

Marci Crowley told Ivanhoe, “You hear how grueling these residencies are. They take so much of your life.”

A shortage of 23 thousand surgeons is predicted by 2032. That’s just 12 years away. So it’s important to convince more women to choose surgery.

“It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible if you want it enough. I have four kids and that’s four kids with all the training that I had. I had two fellowships,” Dr. Ross said.

Dr. Ross founded the annual “Women in Surgery” career symposium to bring women surgeons together from around the world to mentor female students. The conference committee chooses topics to address frequent issues of concern.

“You can be strong, you can be feminine, and still be professional,” Crowley said.

“I want to be a leader. I want to show other women that this is possible,” Scholesser said.

It’s a critical mission not only to empower women, but also to meet the medical needs of our country in the future. The 2020 women in surgery international career symposium will be help in February in Clearwater, Florida.

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