Medical students' and interns' interest in orthopedic surgery: The gender factor

Joshua E. Schroeder, Rachel Y. Zisk-Rony, Meir Liebergall, Howard Tandeter, Leon Kaplan, Yoram G. Weiss, Charles Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective There is an extremely small proportion of female medical students choosing to specialize in orthopedic surgery. The aim of the study was to assess medical students' and interns' interests and perceptions of orthopedic surgery and explore why women are not interested in orthopedic surgery. Setting Questionnaires were distributed to final-year medical students and interns assessing their interests and perception of orthopedic surgery. Participants Final-year medical students and interns. Results Responses were obtained from 317 students and 199 interns. Among the medical students, 15% were interested in orthopedic surgery, but only 2% were women. Both male and female students perceived orthopedics as an "action"-packed, procedure-based profession, providing instant gratification, time in the operating room, high income, and the option for private practice. Female medical students considered it boring. Among interns, 11% were interested in orthopedic surgery; however, only 2% were women. When compared with the interns who were not interested in orthopedic surgery, a greater number of the interns interested in orthopedic surgery rated time with family and a procedure-intensive profession as important. Female students and interns were also interested in other surgical fields. Conclusions The increasing majority of women among medical students will reshape the future of physician workforce by dictating changes in workforce participation, working conditions, and intercollegial relationships. Orthopedic surgery will need to adapt to these realities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)198-204
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • marketing research
  • medical education
  • medical students
  • orthopedics
  • residency

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Surgery


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