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73. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC)
Joint Meeting mit der Griechischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) e. V.

29.05. - 01.06.2022, Köln

Gender inequality in neurosurgery – a nationwide survey-based analysis amongst women neurosurgeons in Germany

Geschlechterungleichheit in der Neurochirurgie – eine bundesweite umfragebasierte Analyse unter Neurochirurginnen in Deutschland

Meeting Abstract

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  • presenting/speaker Emre Çinkaya - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Deutschland
  • presenting/speaker Rachel Schmargon - Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Deutschland
  • Ibrahim Efecan Efe - Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 73. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Griechischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Köln, 29.05.-01.06.2022. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2022. DocV330

doi: 10.3205/22dgnc314, urn:nbn:de:0183-22dgnc3149

Published: May 25, 2022

© 2022 Çinkaya et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Objective: Neurosurgery remains male-dominated. To explore gender inequalities and challenges encountered by women neurosurgeons in Germany, a nationwide web-based survey was conducted.

Methods: A 40-item questionnaire including Likert-type and open-ended questions was distributed to women neurosurgeons through the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC) and direct email communication.

Results: 50 women neurosurgeons (mean age 39.7) with 12.4 years average working experience responded. The majority (78%) practiced in departments with a female-to-male-ratio of less than 1:2. Two thirds experienced gender stereotypes and discrimination. While many (70%) reported they would choose neurosurgery a second time, only half declared they would recommend a career in neurosurgery to their son (52%) and only few to their daughter (34%). Responses indicated an urgent need for better family leave policies (88%), mentoring programs (80%) as well as gender awareness programs (64%). Burnout, or the fear of developing it, was reported by almost half of the participants.

Conclusion: The majority of women neurosurgeons is affected by gender inequality. Our study stresses the need for improved working conditions and increased awareness for gender discrimination. Larger surveys including the perspectives of male neurosurgeons may help foster debate.