The progress of women surgeons has been a long and often difficult journey. While there are many pioneers to thank and accomplishments to celebrate, breaking the glass ceiling in the surgical field is still not easy for women. To help promote both personal and professional growth among current and future women surgeons, this year, the Society for Vascular Surgery is participating in the Third Annual International Women in Surgery (WIS) Symposium, May 31-June 2 at the Hyatt Regency on the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD.
The WIS Symposium is designed to promote and foster mentorship and establish a peer network for current and future women in surgery. It will provide a forum to discuss contemporary issues and opportunities for women who have chosen or may choose a career in surgery. Participants will learn from and interact with women leaders in surgery. Topics range from balancing children and marriage in the face of a demanding profession to determining the subspecialty women surgeons most commonly pursue.
Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, SVS vice president is a co-chair of the symposium. Her presentation, “A Decade of Experience from a Women Chair,” will deal with her experience at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
“There’s been a lot of cultural change since I came to Hopkins,” Dr. Freischlag said. “This Symposium is valuable because although attendees might not see many women in leadership positions at their place–through attendance they can see how many women there are in leadership positions at other places. There is so much energy and enthusiasm here, this is a great event.”
The SVS Women’s Leadership Committee developed a session to encourage more women to pursue careers in surgery. The SVS session will be held from 8:00 a.m. – 10:15 am on Saturday, June 2. Topics include:
— Communication tools to make mentors more effective
— How mentees can have more successful communication with mentors
— Boundaries that decrease communication between diverse groups and cultures
— Communication among generations
— Advantages women have in communication
“The WIS Symposium is a great opportunity for women to network and discuss contemporary issues for women in the field of surgery,” said Eva Rzucidlo, chair of the SVS Women’s Leadership Committee. “This is an exciting time in surgery for women. SVS has 175 women members, with 51 serving on committees and councils, three are committee and council chairs, and two serve on the SVS Board of Directors. Women now account for 40 percent of all vascular surgery integrated residents. The WIS will help us to network and learn skills to become better mentors for these up and coming women leaders in vascular surgery. ”
To learn more about the WIS Symposium and for complete accreditation and registration information, go to www.cme.hsc.usf.edu/wis/