Study: Women scarce in neurosurgery

Though half of all students enrolled in U.S. medical schools are female, things look much different for the field of neurosurgery, according to a new research report. At present, female board-certified neurosurgeons account for less than 6 percent of the 3,000-odd neurosurgeons practicing now, and fewer than 5 percent of neurosurgeons in private practice are female. Meanwhile, only 300 women, or 2 percent of 16,000 graduating medical students, applied for 180 available residency positions each year over the last decade. If this trend continues, it could lead to a shortage of neurosurgeons as a whole, given the growing role of women in medicine, according to the authors of the study, which appears in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

To address this problem, medical schools and teaching hospitals need more women as department heads and leaders of other functions to help provide younger women with role models, the authors suggest. Right now, only 6 percent of full-time neurological faculty members are female.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Chicago Tribune article