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Sexual Harassment Common in Orthopedic Surgery Residents

Sixty-eight percent of female surgeons report sexual harassment during orthopedic surgery residency

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FRIDAY, Oct. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A high proportion of female orthopedic surgery trainees report experiencing sexual harassment during residency, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Emily Whicker, M.D., from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues evaluated sexual harassment during residency among female orthopedic surgeons. Between October and December 2019, 250 active and resident members of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society responded to a 12-question online survey.

The researchers found that 68 percent of women reported experiencing sexual harassment during their orthopedic training, and there were no differences observed between current and past trainees in terms of the proportion who reported experiencing sexual harassment during residency training (odds ratio [OR], 0.59; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.31 to 1.11; P = 0.10). There were no geographic differences noted in the proportion of women experiencing sexual harassment during residency when comparing the Northeast to the South (OR, 1.06; 95 percent CI, 0.51 to 1.17; P = 0.89), the Midwest (OR, 1.55; 95 percent CI, 0.77 to 3.12; P = 0.22), or the West (OR, 1.02; 95 percent CI, 0.46 to 2.23; P = 0.97).

"Residency programs should take steps to further identify and combat the sources of sexual harassment by increasing the number of women in leadership roles within the department and by ensuring that women trainees have adequate mentorship from both women and men attendings," the authors write. "After such measures are implemented, future studies should aim to evaluate their efficacy."

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