Gender differences among spouses of surgeons

Lillian S. Kao, Erik B. Wilson, Kimberly D. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: The goal of this study was to identify whether gender differences exist regarding the degree of spousal support for, satisfaction with, and perception of surgeons' careers. Methods: A survey was performed of spouses of academic surgeons in the United States and Canada. Results: Female respondents were significantly less likely to work outside of the home and were significantly more likely to be the major decision-makers at home. They were less likely to credit their surgeon spouses with contributing to household duties and childcare. If both spouses worked outside of the home, the female spouse was still more likely to be the major decision maker. Overall, male and female respondents rated their role in and their satisfaction with their spouses' career choices similarly. Conclusions: Male and female spouses contribute equally to the career choices of their surgeon spouses. However, female spouses, both surgeon and nonsurgeon, are more likely to make the majority of the decisions at home and contributions to household care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender differences
  • Spousal satisfaction
  • Surgical career

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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