Association of Women Surgeons 2022 Presidential Address: Our fortieth year (plus one)—a ruby anniversary

Published:October 18, 2022DOI:
      The day Dr. Patricia Numann posted a notice inviting all woman surgeons to a breakfast in San Francisco at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress in 1981, she put in motion a collective conscience, a force majeure. The commonality of their concerns and experiences led the group to meet yearly, then incorporate. For young women surgeons, this may have been the first contact with women surgeons in more senior positions. Their group grew, gathering momentum and influence, leading to publications and programs that continue to impact the culture of surgery and training. And because we are better together, our collaborations with other identity and specialty surgery organizations foster mutual support and nurture advancement as we learn and share. I recognize the roles of leadership that so many current members of AWS play within and external to our organization. We actively nominate deserving individuals for positions of leadership within the American College of Surgeons and elsewhere. We can cite members Drs. Kathryn Anderson, Patricia Numann, Barbara Bass, Valerie Rusch, and Julie Freischlag as past presidents of the ACS, Dr. Hilary Sanfey as a first vice president, Dr. Patricia Turner as current ACS executive director, with past and current chairs and members of multiple ACS committees. These are women who can and have affected change. We now have 27 female surgical chairs at academic institutions--about 20% of the academic surgical programs--with 12 having retired or advanced further.
      Association of Women Surgeons
      Female chairs of surgery.
      • Pories S.E.
      • Turner P.L.
      • Greenberg C.C.
      • Babu M.A.
      • Parangi S.
      Leadership in American surgery: women are rising to the top.
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