Whether you are a man or a woman, any surgical career will present various challenges but if you are concerned that as a woman you can’t have both the career and the family life, it isn’t the hurdle that some of our predecessors experienced decades ago.
In the era of European Working Time Directive, the hours that put women off surgery years ago are no longer an issue. In addition, some women use the opportunity of Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training, which allows a combination of work and family life to suit your situation.
With regards to colorectal surgery, there are increasing numbers of both female trainees and consultants.
If you are interested in becoming a surgeon and are a woman then there are a number of places you can look at for more information, support and advice:
- Association of Women Surgeons – International organisation with good links for medical students and trainees
- Women In Surgery (WinS) (Royal College of Surgeons of England) has good links for all women at various stages in their careers. You can also join WinS and get regular updates, news and details about their annual conference.
- The Medical Women’s Federation is a national organisation helping to promote women in all medical specialties.
- The British Medical Association has good general career advice.
In addition, there are a number of women on The Dukes’ Club Committee (working full-time as well as LTFT) who are more than happy to offer advice and tips to succeed in your surgical career.