The Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), founded in 1981, offers its members a community of mentoring, education, and networking for personal and professional growth—all by women surgeons, for women surgeons. AWS promotes leadership opportunities and celebrates the achievements of women surgeons worldwide.
On Saturday, the AWS hosted its annual conference, Better Together, at the San Diego Marriott Marquis Marina. This year’s conference began with a first annual fitness event at the Boardwalk at the Embarcadero.
The scientific sessions included top paper presentations from the American Journal of Surgery, including submissions from Lillias Holmes Maguire, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Caitlin Hicks, MD, department of surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD; Heena Santry, MD, FACS, department of surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston; and Katherine Hill, MD, department of surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA.
The 2017 AWS Resident and Student Starr Research Forum and the AWS Foundation Fellowship Presentation followed the paper presentations. The awardee of the fellowship, Nasreen Vohra, MD, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, presented her paper, “Relationship Between the Transcriptional Profile of the Sentinel Lymph Node and Outcomes in Triple Negative Breast Cancer.” AWS thanks Ethicon for its continued support of this fellowship.
Conference highlights included a keynote address by Lara Callender Hogan, vice-president of engineering at Kickstarter and author of Designing for Performance, Building a Device Lab,and Demystifying Public Speaking. Her presentation, Be a Mentor, Find a Sponsor, was followed by the AWS International Panel on Women in Surgery, presented simultaneously as a live webinar. The panel addressed common challenges in pay and gender equity that women surgeons face at all career levels and around the world. It led to a discussion on how the AWS can use sponsorship and mentorship to help women surgeons achieve equity regarding compensation, promotion, and leadership positions. International panelists included: Suad Abdul, MD, MB, BCh, BAO (RCSI), FRCSC, Kuwait; Ainhoa Costas-Chavarri, MD, MPH, FACS, Rwanda; Vikisha Fripp, MD, FACS, U.S.; Avril Hutch, PhD, Ireland; Kazumi Kawase, MD, PhD, Japan; Sherry Wren, MD, FACS, U.S.; and Cheng Har Yip, MB, BS, FRCSGlasg, FRCSEd, FACS(Hon), FAMS(Hon), FCMSA(Hon), Malaysia.
The conference also included lunch, the Surgeons’ Lounge with corporate partners, committee meetings, and the AWS Annual Business meeting.
The AWS Foundation will present its Annual Awards Dinner, 6:00–10:00 pm Monday at the San Diego Marriott Marquis Marina, Grand Ballroom 5−6. At this event, the AWS Foundation will recognize individuals nominated by their peers and teachers. Recipients of the Nina Starr Braunwald Award, the Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award, the AWS Past Presidents’ Honorary Member Award, the Hilary Sanfey Outstanding Resident Award, and the Patricia Numann Medical Student Award will be honored for their contributions to surgery. The program will begin with a reception at 6:00 pm sponsored by the American College of Surgeons Women in Surgery Committee. A separate registration for the dinner is required; the reception is complimentary.
On Tuesday, the AWS will host a Networking Breakfast for members and non-members, 7:00–9:00 am at the San Diego Marriott Marquis Marina, Marina Ballroom Salon G. The breakfast is sponsored by Stryker, and no registration is required.