Differences between men and women surgeons

My colleague Dr. Patricia Patrick and I recently published an article in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal entitled, The Influence of Career Stage, Practice Type and Location, and Physician’s Sex on Surgical Practices Among Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons Performing Breast Augmentation.” One of the most interesting findings of our study included the data on gender differences.  We found that men surgeons place larger implants than women surgeons.  Although this has been suspected for some time by both surgeons and patients, this study was the first to show a statistically significant difference in the sizes placed by men and women surgeons.  While it is tempting to explain this difference by simply stating that men like larger breasts than women do, this would be a gross overgeneralization which does no justice to the many talented men surgeons in our specialty.  What does seem to be clear is that men and women – whatever their profession – have different aesthetic preferences.  While we are taught as physicians to be completely objective in evaluating and treating our patients, it is impossible to avoid bringing our own opinions and experiences to our work, and indeed, this is what makes some patients choose one surgeon over another.  Men and women surgeons have different aesthetic ideals, and patients will choose the one whose vision meshes with their own.  While many of us dislike placing our before and after photos on our websites, it is the fastest and easiest way for a prospective patient to judge if their ideals and goals and match not only what we are able to deliver, but also our own visions of what constitutes an aesthetic result.  In any case, Dr. Patrick and I hope that the information culled from this small study will give surgeons more perspective on the choices they face for their breast augmentation patients, and the varied influences behind their decisions.