Official publication of Rawalpindi Medical University
Perception of Gender Issues among Surgical Residents and their Supervisors

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Shah SI, Iftikhar M, Shah S, Shafique MS, Noor M, Shah JA. Perception of Gender Issues among Surgical Residents and their Supervisors. JRMC [Internet]. 2024 Apr. 1 [cited 2024 Jul. 17];28(1). Available from:


Objective: To discover attitudes and perceptions about gender related issues in surgical residents and supervisors in major teaching hospitals of twin cities.

Methods: This study was conducted in Rawalpindi and Islamabad during July and August 2020. Responses of 22 surgical training supervisors from five institutions and 49 surgery residents from three training institutions were collected via separate questionnaires. These were based on 5-point Likert scale. Responses were tabulated and analyzed on SPSS version 23.

Results: Among the 49 residents, 53.1% (n=26) were men and 46.9% (n=23) were women. Of these, only 19% (n=10) felt any gender discrimination at workplace. This perception was comparatively more in men (P=0.006). More males felt comfortable working at odd hours then women (P=0.005). Childcare service was not a requisite for 77% of residents. Those who required it were mostly women (P=0.050).

64% (n=14) of the supervisors were men. Only 36% (n=8) considered gender to be unimportant during selection of residents. There was a slight tilt towards preferring male residents during selection. More than half of all supervisors considered men to be more confident, better leaders and decision makers in the emergency setting.

Conclusion: Gender is not felt as a discriminatory factor by residents during training. Female residents suffer during training due to family obligations, pregnancy and parenthood. These challenges may be facilitated by changing surgical culture; However, supervisors disagree. Supervisors rate men higher on confidence, decision making and availability and tend to incline towards male residents while selecting. During training, supervisors do not discriminate amongst residents in imparting training and assigning tasks.


KEYWORDS: Surgery; Surgeons; Career choice; Education; Gender bias.
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Copyright (c) 2024 Syed Inamullah Shah, Muzna Iftikhar, Sajida Shah, Muhammad Salman Shafique, Mahvish Noor, Jamil Ahmad Shah