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A microcosm of future gender parity… in neurosurgery


eoSurgical tries hard to advocate for improved gender equality in surgery. With still so few women surgeons, the profession is missing out on talent, narrowing its horizons, and arguably operating one-handed.

A recent article by a surgeon in the USA paints a shocking picture of a profession rife with sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination. If you think it’s better in the UK, think again. Donato-Brown, a UK general surgical registrar, writes of a similar environment this side of the pond. At least the issue is now being spoken of and, whilst there is a long way to go, some progress is being made. Amongst the male-dominated world of surgery in general, neurosurgery is perhaps an even bigger outlier than many specialties. Of the 29 neurosurgical units in the UK, there are some that have never yet had a substantive consultant female appointment.

Times need to change. Fortunately, in some places they are. Within the next few months, Dundee’s neurosurgical unit will be running with equal numbers of male and female consultant neurosurgeons. It’s a small unit - but it is leading on this front. 

eoSurgical is proud to be supporting Women in Surgery Scotland (WISS) this year, with their upcoming series of networking events to enthuse those in early years medical training. This is of course crucial. At least as important, however, is enabling the current workforce to recognise the improvements that will come – for all – when surgeons better reflect the diverse populations that they serve. Different types of surgeons - with experiences, skills, and outlooks from different backgrounds - will provide better care for our patients.

Mark Hughes

Director, eoSurgical

Skull-base neurosurgery fellow, Leeds General Infirmary

Email: mark.hughes@eosurgical.com

Twitter: @eosurgical