by Natalie (SU)

Choosing Between Family and Career

Many of the few females in the field of cosmetic surgery have recently shared what it is like to be a woman plastic surgeon. One of the main reasons so few women enter this field is that the training is grueling, requiring 4 years of college, 4 of medical school, then at least 6 years of demanding surgical training. It is not that women avoid a difficult training period, but that this extensive training schedule happens to coincide with the prime child bearing years in a woman’s life. In fact, for generations, many women felt they had to choose between a career as a plastic surgeon and having a family.

By comparison, women whose priority is to have a family tend to gravitate toward less demanding specialties with shorter training schedules.

Starting a family isn’t the be-all end-all when choosing a plastic surgery career track, and women can certainly start a family a few years later. For those who have chosen to pursue a career in cosmetic surgery however, there are other hurdles.

Surgery…It’s A Man’s World

Surgeons are almost all male! When women are studying to be surgeons, there are few to no women teaching surgery or mentoring female students. The predominance of men in the field makes it very much like a Boot Camp while in training, and an Old Boy’s Club in the workplace. Because of this situation, women plastic surgeons must overcome a gender bias. Sometimes, women get to a certain point in their career where they no longer pursue their ambition because of the lack of systemic support in the workplace. They simply decide they are unwilling or possibly unable to juggle the demands of a gender-biased field. Once these supports in the workplace are available, more women will continue their pursuit of a career as a plastic surgeon.


Women Are Entering the Field of Plastic Surgery in Increasing Numbers, With Help

Still, despite all these challenges, more women are beginning to enter the field to become surgeons. In fact, one third of all trainees in the field of plastic surgery are now women.

So, what is different for these women now studying to be plastic surgeons?

A big part of what has changed is society itself. Men are more willing to support a woman’s career than in the past. A lot of the time, men are taking on the role of primary parent of the children. This allows women to pursue their career in cosmetic surgery without the guilt and regret many often feel.

Also, women now have more resources available to them within society, to assist with child rearing and other domestic duties.

Women Plastic Surgeons Are Now in Demand

Meanwhile, for the 14% of women now in the field, they are finding themselves in demand. Many female patients are seeking a woman to perform their cosmetic surgery because they feel a female surgeon better understands their bodies, and has a better concept of the aesthetic they are hoping to achieve.

Interestingly, male patients are also seeking female plastic surgeons. They feel the woman plastic surgeon may have a gentler approach to surgery.

This is a good thing for woman who are plastic surgeons…the marketplace accepts them as professionals in their field who bring a unique set of experiences to their work. Many women feel being a plastic surgeon allows them to combine the talent of fine arts with that of medicine and science. They also feel they can better empathize with a woman patient who is unhappy with her appearance after child birth, if the doctor has gone through that themselves.

And, like all plastic surgeons, these women find it gratifying to restore a patient’s confidence with cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

If you are looking for a female plastic surgeon to perform cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, please contact Atlantic Center of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Essie Yates is a highly qualified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon who would be happy to take the time to consult with you about achieving your goals for improved appearance. Call (954) 983-1899 or schedule an appointment online.