Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Genetic Research, Science, University of Michigan / 05.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jianzhi "George" ZhangMarshall W. Nirenberg Collegiate ProfessorDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI 48109-1085 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A few percent of humans perform same-sex sexual behavior (SSB), a trait that is partially heritable. Because SSB leads to fewer children, the stable maintenance of SSB-associated alleles in populations has been a long-standing Darwinian paradox. A number of hypotheses have been proposed to resolve this paradox, but most of them lack clear empirical evidence. One version of the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis posits that SSB-associated alleles are subject to heterosexual advantage. Specifically, it was found that SSB-associated alleles are associated with more sexual partners when in heterosexuals (individuals of exclusive opposite-sex sexual behavior), which could lead to more offspring, potentially compensating the reduced reproduction of SSB individuals. While the above mechanism has likely worked in premodern societies, our recent study (PNAS 2023) found that it is no longer working in the modern United Kingdom, because the widespread use of contraception has decoupled the number of offspring from the number of sexual partners in heterosexuals. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences / 03.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christian Carbe, PhD Department of Medical Educatio Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 18509   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Transgender patients often experience pronounced healthcare disparities compared to their cisgender counterparts. Disparities in the treatment of transgender patients resulting from deficiencies in cultural competency perpetuate poor health outcomes, such as suicide, substance misuse, depression, harassment, and victimization. Individuals within the transgender community often face systemic barriers within the medical field, including a lack of comprehensive access to health insurance, discrimination from providers, and incompetent provider training in transgender-specific health needs. This report evaluated the changes in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of the psychosocial and medical needs of the transgender community among first-year undergraduate medical students that attended the Northeastern Pennsylvania Trans Health Conference. Our broader goal is to develop and refine longitudinal interventions to improve skills and sensitivity of future physicians to provide compassionate and competent gender diverse and transgender healthcare. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Surgical Research, Vanderbilt / 30.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher Wallis, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Urology Department of Surgery University of Toronto and Urologic Oncologist Mount Sinai Hospital   MedicalResearch.com:  Could you give a little context - what was the question you were looking at?
  • We have been studying how the primary treating surgeons sociocultural characteristics impact the recovery of patients they are looking after.
  • Specifically, we have been studying the effect of surgeon sex on outcomes such as death, complications and readmission after common and complex surgeries. These are outcomes that are important to patients and the health system.
  • Previously, we showed that patients with a female surgeon had better short term (30 day) outcomes than similar patients having surgery with a man. This study asked the question of whether the sex of a patient’s surgeon affects patients’ longer term outcomes at 90 days and 1 year, after surgery.
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Author Interviews, Columbia, Gender Differences, JAMA, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 24.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason D. Wright, MD, FACOG, FACS Sol Goldman Associate Professor Chief, Division of Gynecologic Oncology Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York, New York 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is growing recognition that gender-affirming surgery (GAS) is safe and that the procedures are associated with favorable long term outcomes. Prior work has explored the use of inpatient procedures and shown that the rates of GAS have risen, but there is little contemporaneous data to examine more recent inpatient and outpatient use of GAS. This is particularly important as changes in insurance regulations may have increased access for these procedures. We examined temporal trends in performance of inpatient and outpatient GAS and examined age-specific trends in the types of procedures performed over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Gender Differences, Weight Research / 16.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Francesca Galbiati, MD Clinical/Research fellow in Endocrinology Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is a neurohormone well known for its role in water balance regulation. It promotes renal water absorption in the kidney, to maintain normal sodium levels in the blood via a tightly controlled osmotic regulation. Besides AVP classical role, data have shown that AVP effects extend beyond water balance regulation. Animal studies have shown that AVP has metabolic effects, including reducing food intake, inducing lipolysis, and promoting muscle regeneration in male mice. Furthermore, AVP is regulated differently in males and females, and affects cognition differently across sexes, a phenomenon called sexual dimorphism. However, it is unknown whether its dimorphism translates to metabolism. Also, findings on AVP metabolic role are inconsistent, possibly due to the opposing effects of AVP at different receptor subtypes, which regulation is still largely unknown. We performed this study to better investigate AVP metabolic role, and explore sex differences. We hypothesized that AVP would be positively associated with BMI, adiposity, and lean mass (acting as a signal of energy availability). We also predicted that relationships between AVP and body composition measures would differ by sex. We used the AVP area under the curve around a standardized meal to better capture repeated measures in response to food intake (that directly impacts energy availability). This also allowed to avoid the possible risk of fluctuating AVP levels due to possible pulsatile secretion. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gender Differences, JAMA, Menopause / 03.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Buckley, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Neurology Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While a fair amount of studies have focused on the effects of menopause and hormone therapy on risk of dementia, far fewer studies have tested their association with the biology of Alzheimer’s disease, namely amyloid and tau. This is critical to know given that it still remains unclear what might be the driving mechanism of the menopause transition on risk for dementia. This is what our study set out to investigate. This study is one of the first to report a link between women’s age at menopause and tau in the brain, which we measured with positron emission tomography neuroimaging. We found that in multiple areas of the brain that tend to be most likely to show higher tau in women than men, women with earlier age at menopause and elevated levels of amyloid showed higher levels of tau than those who reported an average age at menopause (~50 years in the United States). Women who reported premature menopause (<40 years at menopause onset) exhibited a much higher risk of tau in the brain. This supports the notion that longer exposure to estrogen throughout life might be protective against Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Surgical Research / 03.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mario FL Gaudino, MD, PhD, MSCE, FEBCTS, FACC, FAHA Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery (II) Assistant Dean for Clinical Trials Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research at Weill Cornell Graduate School Director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO) Director of Translational and Clinical Research, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Chair Coronary Artery Task Force, European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Weill Cornell Medicine | NewYork – Presbyterian Hospital Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well-documented that women undergoing CABG have higher mortality and morbidity when compared with men. They are referred to surgery later than men, with more cardiovascular risk factors than men, and present more frequently with heart failure or in non-elective settings. However, overall CABG outcomes have improved over time, and so we sought to evaluate national trends in outcomes specifically in women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 21.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Liu, MPhil Rhodes Scholar,MPhil in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past few decades, research has shown that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals have worse health outcomes and face unique challenges related to their experiences and costs of care. These disparities are driven by “minority stress” associated with belonging to a marginalized group. Such stressors erode health through a range of structural and interpersonal forces, including employment discrimination, family rejection, and internalized stigma One early analysis established national baseline estimates for LGB health outcomes using 2013-2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data. Since then, there have been substantial shifts in social policy and public opinion that may have differentially affected sexual minority subgroups. The US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges guaranteed the constitutional right to same-sex marriage across all states. Over the last decade, states have expanded rights and protections for LGB populations related to employment and housing discrimination, sexual orientation conversion efforts, HIV criminalization, and religious exemptions. Public support for LGB-related issues has also been increasing with more representation in media, uptake of LGB-affirming policies, and advocacy efforts. No studies have assessed national trends in health status or healthcare access among specific sexual minority subgroups amid the rapidly shifting sociocultural and policy landscape. Thus, we sought out to evaluate if and how health status and healthcare access have changed between 2013 and 2018 in the US among LGB adults, and whether differences relative to their heterosexual counterparts have changed over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Gender Differences, Kidney Disease, NEJM, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 26.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. dr. Hans Pottel KU Leuven Kulak Department of Public Health and Primary Care Belgium MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is used to diagnose patients with chronic kidney disease and is also used to adjust the dose of drugs that are eliminated by the kidneys. An accurate estimation of GFR is considered of importance in the management of kidney health in patients. In 2021 we published a new serum creatinine based equation, called the European Kidney Function Consortium (EKFC) equation (Pottel H. et al, Development and Validation of a Modified Full Age Spectrum Creatinine-Based Equation to Estimate Glomerular Filtration Rate : A Cross-sectional Analysis of Pooled Data. Ann Intern Med (2021) 174: 183-191): EKFC-eGFR = 107.3 / [Biomarker/Q]a x [0.990(Age – 40) if age > 40 years] With a = 0.322 if Biomarker/Q is less than 1, and a = 1.132 if Biomarker/Q is 1 or more. The equation can easily be interpreted: the leading coefficient equals the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 107.3 mL/min/1.73m², which is the average GFR in healthy children (aged > 2 years), adolescents and young adults. The average healthy GFR remains constant until the age of 40 years, and starts decreasing beyond that age. The GFR is inversely related to the ‘rescaled’ biomarker. The rescaling factor (Q) is the average biomarker value for healthy people of a specific population (e.g. children, adult men, adult women, white people, black people, …). Biomarker/Q equals ‘1’ for the average healthy person, corresponding with eGFR = 107.3 mL/min/1.73m² (up to 40 years of age). It should be noted that for serum creatinine, the Q-value depends on sex and race. Our hypothesis was that the above equation is valid for any renal biomarker, on the condition that the biomarker is appropriately scaled. We showed that the same equation was able to estimate GFR from 2 years to oldest ages. In the current study we tested and validated our hypothesis by applying the above formula for appropriately ‘rescaled’ cystatin C. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, PLoS, Social Issues / 04.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlota Batres, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Department of PsychologyDirector, Preferences Lab PreferencesLab.comFranklin and Marshall College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Makeup is commonly attributed with increasing attractiveness in female faces, but this effect has not been investigated in male faces. We therefore sought to examine whether the positive effect of makeup on attractiveness can be extended to male faces. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 06.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mario F.L. Gaudino, M.D. PhD Attending Cardiac SurgeonDepartment of Cardiothoracic Surgery Antonino Di Franco, MD Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery Weill Cornell Medicine   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What is the aim of this review?  Response: Biological and socio-cultural differences between men and women are complex and likely account for most of the variations in the epidemiology and treatment outcomes of coronary artery disease (CAD) between the two sexes. Despite the growing recognition of sex-specific determinants of outcomes, representation of women in clinical studies remains low, and sex-specific management strategies are generally not provided in guidelines. We summarized the current evidence on sex-related differences in patients with CAD, focusing on the differential outcomes following medical therapy, percutaneous coronary interventions, and coronary artery bypass surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 09.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher J. D. Wallis, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Division of Urology University of Toronto Urologic Oncologist, Division of Urology Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has shown that female and male physicians communicate differently with patients. Further, there is evidence that female physicians, including surgeons, spend more time with patients. This, coupled with evidence that female patients may experience disparities in the management of their pain, led us to consider that communication differences may underpin differences in surgical outcomes previously noted (eg. Wallis et al, BMJ 2017) between male and female physicians. We postulated that there may be a differential association between surgeon sex and patient sex in behaviours that would translate into clinically important outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Gender Differences, Mental Health Research / 13.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martina Svensson Experimental Neuroinflammation Laboratory Department of Experimental Medical Science Lund University, Lund, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We followed almost 200,000 long-distance skiers for up to two decades and investigated how many of these skiers were diagnosed with anxiety disorders compared to people of the same sex and age in the general population. In total, the study included almost 400,000 people. (Previous studies have shown that Vasaloppet skiers are significantly more physically active than the general population.) (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences, JAMA / 17.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anjali Sergeant McMaster Medicine Class of 2022 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This collaborative study from the University of Toronto and McMaster University found that inpatients in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cared for by female physicians had lower mortality rates compared to those cared for by male physicians. Specifically, a 0.47% difference in patient deaths was reported, which is significant in the context of thousands of deaths in Ontario hospitals each year. This supports similar findings from an American study (Tsugawa et. al) published in 2017. Our study also examined gender-based differences in medical practice, including lab and imaging tests ordered, and medications prescribed. Female doctors ordered significantly more imaging tests for their patients but this factor did not explain their lower patient death rates. The mortality difference shrank when accounting for the number of years that doctors were in practice. This suggests that patients of female doctors may have better outcomes partially because more women make up newer medical grads in Canada, who may be more up-to-date on clinical guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 12.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nosheen Reza, MD, FACC, FHFSA Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Penn Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Section of Advanced Heart Failure, Transplantation, and Mechanical Support Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania & the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In academic internal medicine in the United States, gender disparities in salary and promotion have been researched and documented for over 20 years. Despite this, in recent years, the number of women pursuing careers in medicine has increased, and now, more women than men are enrolled in U.S. medical schools. We wanted to take a contemporary look at the composition of the U.S. academic internal medicine physician workforce and evaluate the relationships between the representation of women in each internal medicine specialty with their salaries and academic rank. We hypothesized that even though there may be more women physicians practicing in these specialties compared with prior years, the disparities in academic rank and salary, as compared with men, would still exist. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CDC, Emory, Gender Differences, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 08.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Farhad Islami, MD PHD Scientific Director, Cancer Disparity Research American Cancer Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) have collaborated annually since 1998 to provide updated information about cancer occurrence and trends by cancer type, sex, age group, and racial/ethnic group in the United States. In this year’s report, we focus on national cancer statistics and highlight trends in stage-specific survival for melanoma of the skin, the first cancer for which effective immune checkpoint inhibitors were developed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Pancreatic, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Herremans, MD Lead researcher on the study Surgical research fellow University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pancreatic cancer is a deadly malignancy with an estimated 5-year survival rate of only 9%. Significant racial and ethnic disparities exist in pancreatic cancer. Underrepresentation in the clinical trials that determine safety and efficacy may contribute to these disparate outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, NYU, Women's Heart Health / 11.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darcy Banco, MD, MPH Internal Medicine Resident NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We became interested in this question because of recent epidemiological data showing that despite improvements in the number of heart attacks in overall population, that number is rising among young adults (<= 55 years old) and in particular, young women. Compared to young men, young women with heart attack experience more delays in care and have higher mortality and poorer quality of life after heart attack. Despite these findings, there was also a study that asked young adults who had experienced heart attack: “When you first went for help, did the health care providers think that you were having a problem with your heart?” Women were more likely to answer no to this question. Therefore, our study asked: Are young women evaluated and treated differently than men when presenting to the emergency room with symptoms of chest pain? (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Surgical Research / 28.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony Almazan MD Candidate Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gender-affirming surgeries are procedures offered to alleviate psychological distress and affirm the gender identities of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people. Requests for these surgeries have been increasing in the United States over the past decade. However, the mental health benefits of these procedures have remained controversial due to the limited evidence base on this subject. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gender Differences, HPV, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 27.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle M. Chen, MD/MHS Clinical Lecturer Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and associated with several malignancies including oropharyngeal, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and anal cancers. In 2020, the FDA expanded the indications for HPV vaccination to include the prevention of oropharyngeal cancer, which is the most common HPV-associated malignancy and about 80% of oropharyngeal cancer patients are male. HPV vaccination rates are closely tracked for adolescents but less is known about vaccination rates for young adults. The goal of our study was to understand HPV vaccinations for young adult men and women, ages 18-21.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JAMA / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: First Author Michelle Lee, MD, PharmD Fellow-in-training, Health Services Research & Development Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX   Senior & Corresponding Author Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Research Director, Cardiology Fellowship Training Program Baylor College of Medicine Staff Cardiologist, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Co-Director, VA Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research & Development Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX Investigator, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center HSR&D Center of Innovation Houston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), defined as ischemic heart disease (IHD), ischemic cerebrovascular disease (ICVD), or peripheral arterial disease (PAD), is the leading cause of death globally. Particularly in young ASCVD patients, secondary prevention with antiplatelet therapy and statins are extremely important in reducing disease burden. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Menopause, Urology / 15.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lin Yang, PhD Research Scientist/Epidemiologist Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Cancer Care Alberta | Alberta Health Services | Canada Adjunct Assistant Professor Departments of Oncology and Community Health Sciences University of Calgary | Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Urinary incontinence disproportionately affects women. Urinary incontinence results in significant physical, social, and psychological adverse consequences that impair women’s quality of life and contribute to considerable healthcare costs. At the moment, the contemporary prevalence and recent trends in urinary incontinence in US women are unknown. More importantly, there is a growing awareness that urinary incontinence is not part of normal aging, but very little information is available to inform prevention strategies. Therefore, we were also interested in exploring correlates of urinary incontinence in a population-based sample of US women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Dermatology, Gender Differences, JAMA, Medicare, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 18.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren A. V. Orenstein, MD | She/her/hers Assistant Professor of Dermatology Robert A. Swerlick, MD Professor and Alicia Leizman Stonecipher Chair of Dermatology Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Financial incentives have the potential to drive provider behavior, even unintentionally. The aim of this study was to evaluate differences in clinic “productivity” measures that occur in outpatient dermatology encounters. Specifically, we used data from 2016-2020 at one academic dermatology practice to evaluate differences in work relative value units (wRVUs, a measure of clinical productivity) and financial reimbursement by patient race, sex, and age. 66,463 encounters were included in this study, among which 70.1% of encounters were for white patients, 59.6% were for females, and the mean age was 55.9 years old. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Gender Differences, Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania / 30.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christina L. Master, MD, FAAP, CAQSM, FACSM Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Co-Director, Minds Matter Concussion Program Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine, Division of Pediatric Orthopedics Attending Physician, Care Network - Karabots Center The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 19104 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There have been multiple studies investigating potential sex differences in outcomes from concussion which have sometimes had conflicting results with some studies indicating that females take longer to recover than males and some studies reporting no difference in recovery between females and males, with most of these studies being conducted either retrospectively or prospectively in smaller cohorts. This large-scale multi-center prospective study in collegiate athletes provided an opportunity to compare females and males across comparable sports to examine both potential intrinsic or biologic factors (sex differences) or extrinsic (environmental or gender differences) that contribute to outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gender Differences, PNAS / 18.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paola Profeta, PhD Professor of Public Economics, Department of Social and Political Sciences Bocconi University Director, Msc Politics and Policy Analysis, Bocconi University Coordinator, Dondena Gender Initiative, Dondena Research Center President, European Public Choice Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We interview more than 20000 men and women in 8 OECD countries in two periods during the lockdown. Using two waves from 8 OECD countries, we find that women are more likely to perceive the pandemic as a very serious health problem, to agree with restraining measures and to comply with public health rules, such as using facemasks. This gender differences are less strong for married individuals and for individuals who have been directly exposed to COVID, for instance by knowing someone who was infected.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Surgical Research / 14.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cassandra M. Kelleher, MD, FACS Surgical Director, Fetal Care Program Surgical Director, NICU Quality and Safety Chair, Pediatric Surgery MGH eCare Clinical Informaticist Pediatric Surgery MassGeneral Hospital for Children Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Only about one in five surgeons practicing in U.S. is female. Unemployment is virtually nonexistent among surgeons, but many female surgeons, as well as professional women in other fields, experience underemployment—the underuse of skills—according to the Federal Reserve Bank. Women in surgery talk among themselves about how they may be perceived as less confident or competent, and for those reasons they may have less opportunity to do exciting and challenging cases. We wondered if this was true, and if so, why? (more…)