Are There Many Female Surgeons?

,instagram Female Surgeons Plastic Surgeon Dr Rebecca Wyten

Spotlight on Female Surgeons

The April 2017 issue of the New Yorker Magazine featured an animated cover image by Malika Favre featuring female surgeons in the operating theatre wearing their blue scrubs.

The overwhelming response to this artist-created image was, “Yes female surgeons are out there!” As a result, this sparked a welcome host of real shots on Instagram of female surgeons around the world recreating the cover.


Increasing Visibility of  Women in Surgery

The original artwork touched a nerve and consequently helped to highlight the true visibility of women in medicine. Subsequently, the hashtag challenge spread with female surgeons posting images of themselves in Brazil, Mexico, the U.K, and Turkey.

Similarly, in this article, we want to put the spotlight on female surgeons and the many achievements of women in surgery.


Women in Surgery in Australia.

Unfortunately, there is a gender bias in surgery as a career and gender inequality. This is what made the artists image so noteworthy. All-female surgical teams are not as commonplace as they should be, given the number of highly talented female medical graduates.

According to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, half of the medical graduates are female, however only 5% of surgeons are female. This leads to a major under-representation of women in surgery.

As a result, RACS has committed to attracting the brightest and best female medical graduates to surgery and encourages and supports this goal by:

  • Firstly, giving support and guidance to female medical graduates who are considering specialising in surgery.
  • Secondly, by addressing gender discrimination and issues faced by young surgeons in training.
  • Thirdly, by developing policies and guidelines that support female surgeons.
  • And also removing barriers and increasing the visibility of women in surgery.


women in surgery

Encouragement and Opportunities

Some of the issues that the Women in Surgery (WIS) committee addresses are simply issues that do not create as many barriers for male surgeons.

Most noteworthy is including flexible surgical training (for example; consider if you are a mother and a primary caregiver. The number of hours and rigid training roster, will present issues for you and very well may exclude you).

Further more, it is important to increase the visibility of other female surgeons and offer mentorship via the Annual Scientific Congress (ASC). By seeing other women in these positions, it encourages and empowers women by showing them that it is possible. It’s also important to look at generally expanding opportunities across the surgical training world for women.


Raising Awareness of Women in Medicine

Cover images like the one from the New Yorker help to shine a light on the issue of women in surgery.

You can help support surgeons that offer greater representation for women in surgery. You can read some of the articles from the RACS to understand what more can be done to balance in inequality. Starting with more visibility at conferences, in articles and on the internet.


Breakdown the Barriers

Dr Ruth Bollard, Chair of the Women in Surgery Committee of the RACS demonstrates that: 

  • Improving the proportion of female speakers at conferences can help to encourage more women to pursue research and surgery.
  • furthermore, a sensitivity to the needs for childcare facilities in professional and training environments.
  • Not only for women in surgery and medicine but at conferences as well.
  • As a result, you would open the door for more women surgeons.



Support Female Surgeons

Above all, its important to Support Female Surgeons like Dr Rebecca Wyten and encourage your clinic to do the same! Was your surgery done by a female surgeon? Would you like to see your surgeon speak at a conference?  If so, speak up and ask them how you can lend your support and increase the visibility of women in surgery!


Dr Rebecca Wyten, (meet her here) is a dedicated surgeon located in Melbourne, Victoria. Dr Wyten has undertaken many humanitarian trips overseas during the last 10 years. Recently returning from Nepal where she practised burn surgery through the organisation Open Heart International.


Please Consult your Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon for Further Advice Today.

Each individual’s situation is different. What options are best for you, should be best discussed during a consult with Dr Rebecca Wyten.






*Remember, each patient is different, and results can vary from patient to patient. *Individual patients will have uniquely individual and varying results.

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