Although women account for 49% of medical school graduates in the U.S., they represent only 12% of all neurosurgery residents.
The percentage of women neurosurgery residents is less than that of women in general surgery, otolaryngology, thoracic surgery and orthopedics.
Women represent only 5% of practicing neurosurgeons certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS)
According to ABNS statistics, in the U.S. there are only 219 ABNS-certified female neurosurgeons, 25 full-time female academic neurosurgeons, and one female chair of a neurosurgery department.
Source: Women in Neurosurgery, a medical specialty organization affiliated with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
There are very few neurosurgeons compared with the number of physicians in other medical specialties. For example, there are more than 46,000 anesthesiologists and 25,000 orthopedists in the U.S.
“Becoming a neurosurgeon is challenging for anyone and requires a strong commitment and dedication that is often not comparable to any other practice of medicine,” says Dr. Foroohar.
“I believe women neurosurgeons face more personal and professional challenges than their men counterparts and I have certainly experienced my share,” she adds. “However, I have tried to use those challenges to advance my skills and become a better neurosurgeon.”
To commemorate the organization's 20th anniversary, Women in Neurosurgery (WINS) has published a book titled Heart of a Lion, Hands of a Woman: What Women Neurosurgeons Do.
The book is a compilation of women neurosurgeons' personal memoirs, paintings, photography and poetry. To obtain a copy, order online or call 888.566.2267, ext. 539. The price is $40.
Women in Neurosurgery has just released the second edition of its brochure, “So, You Want to Be a Neurosurgeon?” This concise snapshot of the field of neurosurgery includes recent changes in the application process, as well as a summary of the course of training for neurosurgical residents.