Exploring the patterns of practice and satisfaction among female urologists in Canada


  • Amanda E. Hird Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • Marie-Pier St-Laurent Division of Urology, Université Laval, Québec City, Québec
  • Geneviève Nadeau Division of Urology, Université Laval, Québec City, Québec
  • Lesley Carr Division of Urology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • Monica Farcas Division of Urology, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario




Women in urology, women in surgery, gender, satisfaction, barriers, leadership, mentorship


Introduction: Our aim was to explore the satisfaction, personal and professional challenges, and practice barriers among female urologists in Canada.

Methods: A literature review was completed to design our survey. Trends with respect to career and personal satisfaction were identified, including academic advancement, mentorship, professional challenges, workplace discrimination, family satisfaction, and remuneration, among others. These key themes were formatted into 44 questions, translated into French, and distributed electronically as a survey to 80 female urology staff across Canada.

Results: Sixty (75.0%) women completed the survey. Many had been in practice <5 years (44.1%) and 72.9% completed a fellowship. Overall, 96.6% of women were very or somewhat satisfied with their career. Seeing more time-consuming patients and financial constraints within the healthcare system were the greatest source of dissatisfaction. Two-thirds of respondents reported that they received significant mentorship and 40% found it difficult to find a mentor during their training. Overall, 65.0% experienced gender discrimination, most commonly from a colleague or a patient. Women who practiced in the community were more likely to report experiencing discrimination compared to women practicing in an academic setting (78.1% vs. 51.9%; p=0.034). Mean time for maternity leave was 17.1 (±8.3) weeks, and 30.2% reported a pregnancy-related complication triggered by their work. Overall, 66.1% would choose urology again.

Conclusions: It is important to advocate for the wellness of female urologists. To accomplish this, we need to address the challenges revealed in the survey, including supporting women on maternity leave, improving mentorship, and prioritizing female urology leadership initiatives. We have established a formal circle of support within the urology community in Canada to achieve these goals.


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How to Cite

Hird, A. E., St-Laurent , M.-P., Nadeau , G., Carr, L., & Farcas, M. (2020). Exploring the patterns of practice and satisfaction among female urologists in Canada. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 14(8), 245–51. https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.6184



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