Career aspirations among specialty residents in France: a cross-sectional gender-based comparison
BMC Medical Education
Background Most studies evaluating career aspirations among gender are performed in Anglo-Saxon countries. Two recent French studies looked at the career choice of residents in obstetrics & gynecology. It seemed useful to us to broaden this questioning to other specialties, by proposing a study to all residents in the same Faculty. The objective of our study was to describe residents' career aspirations and possible barriers according to gender. Methods Declarative cross-sectional survey, using
... questionnaires sent by email to the specialty residents of the Faculty of Medicine of Lille (France). An analysis by specialty group (i.e., medicine, surgery, obstetrics & gynecology, and anesthesia & resuscitation) and a comparison of the results according to gender were performed. Results Of the 1384 specialty residents currently in training, 462 answered the questionnaire (33.38%), among whom 289 women and 173 men (average age = 27.08 ± 0.091 years). Seventeen women (5.9%) were currently considering a university hospital career versus 37 men (21.4%) (p = 0.001). Gender analysis made it possible to identify obstacles to engaging in a university career: lacking a female model, more frequent doubting the ability to undertake this type of career among women (61.6%) than men (35.3%) (p < 0.001), and gender discrimination felt in the workplace for 51.6% of women (versus 7.5% of men, p < 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed specificities related to each specialty. Conclusions Few residents plan to embark upon a university hospital career, let alone female residents. There are considerations specific to each specialty and marked gender differences regarding career aspirations. Many features have been identified as obstacles to access to university hospital positions for women. It is important to develop strategies to remove these barriers and enable women to pursue such university careers. Trial registration Not applicable (no intervention).