Women in Surgery – Chile
By Magaly Iñiguez
In Chile 6.2% (49) of the 794 orthopaedic surgeons were female in 2019. Of the 266 orthopaedic trainees, 12.4% (33) were female. Female orthopaedic surgeons represent 6.1% of the membership of the national orthopaedic association, Sociedad Chilena de Ortopedia y Traumatologia (SCHOT).
Chile established its first trauma hospital, Instituto Traumatológico in 1937.
The national orthopaedic society, SCHOT, was founded in 1949. SCHOT published its first scientific journal in 1953. The first publication by a female orthopaedic surgeon was also in 1953. SCHOT held its first Congress in 1963.
Chile has parental leave protected by law for 6 months. This parental leave can be taken by either parent and is paid for by the social security system. Unfortunately, fathers represent less than 1% of the parental leave taken in Chile. Chile also has protected breastfeeding time, consisting of one hour during the workday until the infant turns two years old.
In 2019 the first meeting of the Chilean female orthopaedic surgeons took place. The meeting resulted in the formation of the Association of Female Orthopaedic Surgeons of Chile. The Association is focused on gender equity in opportunities and in the selection process. It also aims to prevent gender discrimination, provide mentoring and establish a supportive network for female orthopaedic surgeons, trainees and young women interested in pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery.