Current News & Events

5th Annual Women in Surgery Career Symposium | June 20-24, 2014 | Washington DC

The WIS symposium is a professional and academic event dedicated to encouraging more women to pursue careers in surgery. The Annual International WIS Career Symposium serves to discuss the issues and challenges confronting women as they seek to advance in a changing but still male-dominated field, and to share successes and advice for breaking the glass ceiling in surgery. Furthermore, the intention is to highlight the importance of advancing women toward careers in surgery by providing meaningful avenues for surgical professionals and students to interact, exchange ideas, and formulate effective strategies in advancing this important endeavor.

This symposium will promote both personal and professional growth for women in surgery. It is designed to promote and foster mentorship as well as a peer network for current and future women in surgery. It will also provide a forum to discuss contemporary issues and opportunities for women who have chosen or may choose a career in surgery. Participants will be able to interact with women who are thought leaders in surgery and pioneers in advancing women in surgery.

** AWS SESSION ** On Sunday, June 22nd from 9:00 to 11:30 am AWS presents: "Challenges to Taking Charge and Leading as a Woman Surgeon." Moderated by Nancy Gantt, MD, FACS, panel members: Danielle Walsh, MD, FACS, FAAP; AJ Copeland, MD, FACS; Carla Pugh, MD, PhD, FACS; Susan Pories, MD, FACS.

Visit to register and for more information.

In Memoriam

We recently lost two esteemed surgeons who were good friends to the Association of Women Surgeons. Dr. George Sheldon was our Honorary Member in 2012 and served as a mentor to many women surgeons over his long and distinguished career. Dr. Keith Amos held the Claude Organ Fellowship at the time of his death, an award that is co-sponsored by AWS. Both will be deeply missed by our profession.

Pocket Mentor - Free e-book now available - with support of Covidien and OnSurg

AWS Calendar of Events

Find events and programs in the coming months that may be of interest to women surgeons on the AWS Events page.

AWS Membership Survey Distribution Policy

AWS receives frequent requests to survey our unique and valuable membership. To ensure we don't overwhelm our members with these requests, we have established a survey policy and application process. We charge a nominal fee to cover the costs of evaluating and disseminating the surveys. Click here for more information and a survey request form.

AWS Wants Your Photos

The Association of Women Surgeons often uses photos in its various projects, and we'd love to have access to your real-life moments.

Share your pics with us by attaching them to an e-mail you send to Anything that says "woman surgeon" to you is helpful. (Please make sure you have the rights to the photos before you share them with us.)

You're amazing and we want the world to see you in action.

New AWS Facebook Group for Residents and Medical Students

The AWS Resident and Medical Student Facebook Group has been established to allow for group communications relevant to the resident and medical student AWS members, including planning dinners/informal meet-ups during national conferences, assisting with residency interviewing accommodations, and allowing for greater communication between members.

Click here to join the group. (Note: The Resident and Medical Student Facebook Group is a member-only benefit and requests will be reviewed by an Administrator to verify membership status.)

Survey: Perception about Women Surgeons as Leaders
Conducted by the Japan Association of Women Surgeons (JAWS)

Despite the increasing number of women medical graduates entering surgery as a specialty, the scarcity of women at higher positions, particularly academic leadership positions in medicine, has persisted. We conducted a survey on Leaders with extensive leadership experience and obtained their opinions on issues related to women surgeons in surgical leadership. Based on former surveys, we are now conducting a short survey among women surgeons working in both clinical practice and research. Our primary objective was to understand attitudes and opinions regarding career advancement towards leadership roles, barriers confronting women surgeons, and potential remedies.

This study is conducted by the Japan Association of Women Surgeons (JAWS) in cooperation with the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), Finnish Society of Surgery, and the Chapter of the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong. Through your participation, we eventually hope to understand better how women surgeons may advance towards more significant posts and play active roles as Leader.

Your responses will be counted and analyzed absolutely anonymously to protect the privacy of the respondents. Your personal information will also be kept completely confidential. Your participation is voluntary and there is no penalty for not participating.

To begin the survey, click here.

If you have any questions or concerns about completing the questionnaire or about participating in this study, you may contact us.

Preparing Successful Award Nominations - More Art than Science

Here's a copy of a presentation with helpful information for writing nomination letters for promotions, awards, etc.

AWS Pocket Mentor

The newly updated Pocket Mentor is now available. This handbook for surgical interns was developed to ease the transition from student to resident to surgeon. Based upon the experiences of a number of women surgeons and written by the members of AWS, this resource is intended to make your passage a bit easier than it was for them. Click here to download a PDF of the Pocket Mentor.

How to Choose and Negotiate the First Job

If you're a student or resident, check out this PowerPoint by Hilary Sanfey MB, BCh, MHPE, FACS.