The Women’s Leadership Committee hosted a roundtable discussion on issues specific to women vascular surgeons during the recent Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS)® Vascular Annual Meeting® in National Harbor, MD.
Moderated by the chair of the SVS Women’s Leadership Committee, Eva Rzucidlo, MD, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, the discussion encouraged women to accept leadership positions within the field of medicine especially within vascular surgery.
“Forty percent of vascular surgery integrated residents are women,” said Dr. Rzucidlo. “In the coming years, there will be many opportunities for women vascular surgeons. It’s our responsibility to mentor these new women and help them develop into leaders in our field.”
In a recent video, Dr. Rzucidlo, discussed the need for more women vascular surgeons, especially with the rising number of women diagnosed with vascular-related diseases.
“Improving the health of women treated for vascular disease will come with greater representation of women in vascular surgery,” said Dr. Rzucidlo. “In order to increase our numbers we look to women leaders and pioneers in our community to address the challenges we face and promote the great opportunities before us in the road ahead.”
The roundtable discussion panelists were:
• Dorothy Abel, biomedical engineer and FDA reviewer of peripheral vascular devices, who represented women’s leadership in government.
• Kellie Brown, MD, Associate Professor, Vascular Surgery Division, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who represented the required balancing act for women vascular surgeons.
• Terri Kelly, president and CEO of W.L. Gore and Associates, who represented women business leaders.
• Robyn Macsata, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital and Chief of Vascular Surgery at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C., who represented women as mentors.
• Amy Reed, MD, Chief of Vascular Surgery, Penn State University, who represented women’s leadership roles in vascular surgery.
The session mentioned grants periodically awarded to female vascular surgeons by the SVS Women’s Leadership Committee. Through the generosity of W. L. Gore and Associates, three $5,000 grants will enable 2012-2013 recipients to pursue leadership training opportunities such as personal leadership coaching, traveling to meet women leaders, or participating in specific training programs.
The 2012-2013 grant recipients announced at the annual meeting were:
• Ruth Bush, MD, MPH, Sr. Vice President for Education, Associate Dean of Education, Texas A&M College of Medicine, who plans to utilize the grant to study and understand how women in medicine maintain and sustain their leadership roles. Dr. Bush hopes to develop an advisory council at her institution to promote women’s leadership.
• Katherine Gallagher, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Michigan, who plans to use the grant to attend the AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar. Dr. Gallagher aims to refine her communication skills which she believes are vital for successful leadership.
• Erica Mitchell, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, who plans to use the grant to attend local and national training and skill building courses to improve her public speaking skills. Dr. Mitchell believes that public speaking training will enable her to become a more effective communicator and leader.
“We congratulate these remarkable women for their dedication to the vascular community and for improving the wellness of men and women with vascular disease,” said Dr. Rzucidlo.
SVS/W.L. Gore Initiative
Earlier this year, The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) and W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) announced an initiative that recognizes the contributions of female vascular surgeons and aims to advance the number of women entering the profession. Currently women account for only seven percent of board certified vascular surgeons, yet cardiovascular disease remains the nation’s number one killer among women.
“We need great talent from all sources in order to advance technology and improve education in the treatment of vascular disease. Gore is proud to join the Society for Vascular Surgery in honoring outstanding female surgeons and increasing the percentage of women in the profession,” said Ms. Kelly.
“We are committed to improving the lives of patients and feel women play a critical role in supporting these efforts,” she said.