Men, women need to recognize stakes in changing surgery culture

The article “Female surgeons note gains, subtle gender bias” (Page A1, Feb. 25) highlights many of the concerns that my family and friends raise for me when I share my intention to apply for a residency in general surgery. They ask me how I will sustain a marriage or raise a family while pursuing a career in such a mentally and physically demanding discipline.

I often wonder whether these questions are asked of my male classmates. While I recognize that the responsibilities of child care continue to fall more frequently on the shoulders of women, any change in surgical work culture that enables an individual to honor family commitments is also beneficial to men. Male surgeons have children and partners too.

Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the Association of Women Surgeons, I am confident that the culture surrounding surgery will continue to improve for women. I myself hope to eventually join the increasing number of women in positions of surgical leadership.


But I also invite my male colleagues to recognize their stake in these issues and join me and the next generation of female surgeons in creating a culture that promotes the professional and personal well-being of all surgeons, regardless of gender.

Sophia Kim McKinley


The writer is a member of the Association of Women Surgeons medical student committee.