Current Status of Japanese Women Surgeons Belonging to the Japanese Society for Cardiovascular Surgery and Other Surgical and Academic Societies

(Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan)

Yasuko Tomizawa
Recently, the number of women doctors choosing a career in surgery is increasing. However, the situation of women doctors in Japan is still difficult, because most women doctors also have to take care of their homes and children, because the husbands rarely share child care or household chores in Japan. In 2008, the Committee on Women Surgeons of the Japan Surgical Society conducted a questionnaire survey among 105 academic societies, including 11 surgical societies who belong to the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences. The response rate was 96.2%. Among the 11 surgical societies, only 4 had a total of 16 women councillors, and only 1 society had a woman director. Only 1 surgical society had a woman editor, and the other 10 societies had none. The Japanese Surgical Society and the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine have never had a woman councillor since their inauguration over 100 years previously. Furthermore, the Japanese Society for Cardiovascular. Surgery also had no woman councillors. At the 38th annual meeting of the Japanese Society for Cardiovascular Surgery in 2008, no woman doctor was assigned the role of chairperson in any of the sessions. In obtaining or renewing board certification, only 38% of the academic societies recognized pregnancy, childbirth and childcare as conditions for retaining qualification. Improvements in working situations, gender equality, and support for professional commitment and child care are needed for women surgeons in Japan.
  Jpn. J. Cardiovasc. Surg. 40:1-6(2011)

Keywords:women surgeon, support, surgery