gms | German Medical Science

72. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC)
Joint Meeting mit der Polnischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) e. V.

06.06. - 09.06.2021

Gender differences in perceptions and attitudes of medical students towards neurosurgery – a nationwide survey-based analysis

Geschlechterunterschiede in der Wahrnehmung und Einstellung von Medizinstudierenden gegenüber der Neurochirurgie – eine bundesweite umfragenbasierte Analyse

Meeting Abstract

  • presenting/speaker Ibrahim E. Efe - Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Deutschland
  • Ilhamiyya Aliyeva - Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Deutschland
  • Defne Beyaztas - Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Deutschland
  • Saleem I. Abdulrauf - Saint Louis University, Neurosurgery, St. Louis, MO, Vereinigte Staaten

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 72. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Polnischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. sine loco [digital], 06.-09.06.2021. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2021. DocP237

doi: 10.3205/21dgnc138, urn:nbn:de:0183-21dgnc1388

Veröffentlicht: 4. Juni 2021

© 2021 Efe et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Objective: Despite advances in gender equity, the paucity of women neurosurgeons still remains. In Germany, women accounted for only 24% of the specialists who completed their neurosurgical training in 2019. We sought to explore the perceptions of medical students in Germany towards a neurosurgical career, focusing on gender-specific differences which may underlie the gender gap.

Methods: A digital comprehensive 26-item questionnaire with a Likert 4-point scale and open-ended questions was distributed to the German Medical School student bodies. Data was analysed to determine intra-group variability between female and male respondents.

Results: 210 medical students participated in the survey. The majority of respondents were in the clinical part of their studies. Female and male students were equally interested in brain pathologies (38% vs. 47%, strongly agreed), whereas interest in neurosurgery was significantly greater in males (12% vs. 26%, strongly agreed). In contrast, a significantly greater number of male students believed neurosurgical residency would negatively impact their wellbeing (12% of females vs. 37% of males, strongly agreed). Further, male students were less likely to believe that female neurosurgery residents would face inequality at work. They were also less likely to support a gender quota in neurosurgery. Yet, both female and male students were convinced that a rise in the number of women would positively impact the field (51% vs. 48%, strongly agreed). No gender-dependency was seen in students’ strive for success and prestige. Male students felt discouraged from pursuing neurosurgery because they feared an unpleasant work environment whereas female students were concerned about neurosurgery not being family-friendly. Regardless of gender, the greatest factor deterring students from neurosurgery was poor work-life balance.

Conclusion: Awareness must be raised concerning gender inequity and possible gender-specific discrimination in our specialty. A multifaceted approach is imperative to develop our field into a profession where gender becomes less important than the overarching fact that we all share the same mission.

Figure 1 [Fig. 1], Table 1 [Tab. 1]