Fariba Mahtashami, MD, discussed women in ob-gyn surgery and shattering the glass ceiling in her AAGL MED Talk at AAGL’s 51st Global Congress on MIGS in Aurora, Colorado.
At AAGL’s 51st Global Congress on MIGS, Fariba Mahtashami, MD, obstetrics and gynecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada spoke about women in ob-gyn surgery and shattering the glass ceiling in her AAGL MED Talk at AAGL’s 51st Global Congress on MIGS in Aurora, Colorado.
“My financial disclosure is thata I earn significantly less than my male colleagues,” Mahtashami began. “I’m opinionated,” she continued, “But behind every opinion is a story.” Mahtashami continued by talking about the patriarchal society she grew up in in Iran. “Having kids was not on my bucket list. I didn’t like pink,” she said, “And worst of all, I was actually very good at math.”
When it was time for Mahtashami to choose her specialty at age 24, she wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. Since Mahtashami is a woman, folks told her to get into ob-gyn, so that is what she did.
She went on to share her story of emigrating to Canada in 2002. “In my search for answers, I realized that sexism is global,” Mahtashami said. “It’s embedded in every society,” she continued.
Mahtashami went on to share findings from a study that, based on the fact that women are paid less, investigated whether the gender of the patient influenced compensation as well. According to the findings, surgeons operating on women were reimbursed significantly lower at 28%.
Mahtashami concluded her presentation with a call to action—separate obstetrics from gynecology. It overloads curriculum and, according to Mahtashami, shouldn’t be blended together. “Every woman deserves a competent obstetrician when they are pregnant, just as they deserve a competent gynecologist at all the other times in their lives when they’re not pregnant. One should not come at the cost of another,” she concluded, “We need to encourage gener balance in our specialty.”
1. Mahtashami F. Shattering the Glass Ceiling for Surgeons. AAGL MED Talk presented at: AAGL’s 51st Global Congress on MIGS; December 2, 2022; Aurora, Colorado.