טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentSavyon Maram Pazit
SubjectChoosing a Male Specialty: Women Surgeons
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Bilha Mannheim
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

The revolution in society which occurred in the last decades due to social and organizational changes has a great impact on our life in general and on occupational changes related to women in particular. Slow changes started appearing in life styles, to which many medical students reacted, by changing their list of priorities in ranking specialty choices and considering the implication of their choices, on life style.

Women reacted to these changes, and an increasing number of women entered medicine, in general, and masculine specialties like surgery in particular. Still, data from Israel and abroad, supported by theoretical literature, indicate that despite the increase in female participation in the labor force, women are still underrepresented in occupations which are traditionally male.  This situation encompasses medicine in general, and certain subspecialties, in particular, which have been predominantly controlled by men throughout history. Surgery, consisted mostly of men throughout years, and therefore was characterized as "masculine" and "boys club".

The goal of this study is to present a description of women surgeons perceptions of the medical specialty- surgery, and to reveal the unique characteristics of women surgeons in Israel.

The research presents a comparative model which examines differences between women surgeons and women internists in personal characteristics, expected career/family conflict, perceived masculine culture in surgery, existence of a role model in surgery and its contribution for integration of young women doctors in surgery, and social discrimination/ sexual harassment.

Thirty one female surgeons working in Israeli hospitals were questioned by means of a closed questionnaire.  Nineteen female internists were questioned as a control group. Women doctors who participated in the research completed their specialty between the years 2000-2005

The research proposes several hypotheses which examine the influence that various group of variables have on women doctors' specialty preferences, and their perceptions.

 We found several differences between women surgeons and women internists as to role model's gender and frequency, perceived masculine culture and discrimination/sexual harassment but no differences were found between women surgeons and women internists as to most personal characteristics,  and perceived family career conflict. In addition, the research reveals relationships between some of the independent variables and to the dependent variable.

The findings of the research lead to conclusions regarding differences in women doctors' perception of surgery as a "boys club" vs. internal medicine, which is characterized as less masculine both from a personal and organizational perspective.