Viewpoint: Gynecology is not 'women's work'

Many people in the healthcare industry still view gynecology as "women's work," which has harmful financial and personal consequences for female physicians, Sarah Temkin, MD, a gynecologic oncologist in Maryland, wrote in an op-ed in STAT.

In 2012, gynecology became the first female-dominated surgical specialty. Instead of solidifying women's rightful role in the male-dominated field of surgery, this milestone led to a devaluation of the gynecology specialty, according to Dr. Temkin.

"When the percentage of women in a traditionally male field increases, the work begins to be viewed as 'women's work,' which leads to a decline in wages, respect, and status," she wrote in the op-ed.

This perception fuels gender segregation and the gender wage gap, she added.

While more female physicians are starting to speak up about gender equality, "women in gynecology have remained remarkably quiet, despite being part of the first majority women surgical specialty," Dr. Temkin said.

"To retain the value of our field, we must acknowledge that 'women's work' or not, medicine is medicine and surgery is surgery," she concluded.

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