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The impact of gendered experiences on female medical students’ specialty choice: A systematic review

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Hypothesis: Gendered experiences throughout female medical students' lives influence the specialty they choose.
    Sana Khan
    Footnotes
    1 Hypothesis: Gendered experiences throughout female medical students' lives influence the specialty they choose.
    Affiliations
    Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University School of Medicine, United States
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Hypothesis: Gendered experiences throughout female medical students' lives influence the specialty they choose.
Published:November 18, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.10.023

      Highlights

      • Female-dominated specialties include family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology.
      • Male-dominated medical specialties maintain higher salaries, prestige, and power in comparison to female-dominated specialties.
      • The gendered division of specialties holds the societal association of women with family and men with the workforce.
      • Female medical student specialty choice is perpetuated by, and contributes to gender inequality in the medical field.

      Abstract

      Background

      Women make up 50% of American medical school graduates, yet are not equally represented in the vast spectrum of medical specialties. Many fields within medicine remain male dominated. This systematic review will explore social factors that affect female medical students’ specialty choice.

      Hypothesis

      Gendered experiences influence the specialty choice of female medical students, resulting in their concentration in a specific cohort of specialties.

      Methods

      Studies were gathered by searching MEDLINE/Pubmed and EBSCOhost for sociological factors that impact female medical students’ specialty choice.

      Results

      34 articles were selected for this systematic review. Factors that contribute to gender segregation within medical specialties include gender discrimination, socialization, lifestyle considerations, negative perceptions of male-dominated medical specialties and lack of female role models.

      Conclusion

      This systematic review supported the hypothesis that gendered experiences impact women's medical specialty choice, and thus result in their concentration in specialties such as family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology.

      Keywords

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