AWS News & Opportunities




Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Christen Russo

Dr. Christen Russo is an attending orthopaedic surgeon and associate professor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). She specifically focuses on pediatric orthopaedics, and outside of the clinic she has established herself as a prominent leader and mentor within the orthopaedics community. Dr. Russo graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English Literature & Literary History, after which she earned her M.D. at SUNY Downstate. She completed a general surgery internship at Brown University followed by orthopaedic surgery residency at SUNY Downstate and pediatric orthopaedics fellowship at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital/CUIMC. In addition to her clinical and university positions, she currently serves as the President of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, an organization that aims to support women and minorities in pursuing careers in orthopaedic surgery. 

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Book Review: September 2023


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AWS Reviewer Academy

Call for Applicants: AWS-SURGERY Reviewer Academy

Applications are due October 29, 2023


Calling all mentors and mentees! Join the Association of Women Surgeons and SURGERY for a 12-month program where you will learn why and how to peer review, how to review a manuscript, basic statistical understanding, diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, how to get involved in peer review, and more!

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AWS Surgical Mentoring Program

AWS Dorothy Brown & María García-Sancho Surgical Mentoring Program 

Application deadline for Mentees is August 15, 2023 

Application deadline for Mentors - EXTENDED to August 30, 2023

AWS is excited to announce that applications for our 2023-2024 Mentorship Program are now open!

This 6-month structured program is tailored towards medical students with an interest in surgery. Successful applicants will be paired 1:1 with a surgeon mentor, and will be invited to participate in 6 monthly large-group mentoring events including: 

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AWS Fellowship Grants


2023 AWS Fellowship Grant Recipient Announced

Dr. Holly Lewis

The Association of Women Surgeons supports surgeon scientists in the advancement and development of their careers through grant funding. The AWS Grants & Fellowship Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2023 AWS Fellowship Grant:
Dr. Holly Lewis! Dr. Lewis was awarded the grant for her project entitled "An injectable biomaterials for transplant tolerance." Research results from the project will be presented at the 2024 AWS Annual Conference.

The $20,000 AWS Fellowship Grant is awarded for basic science or clinical research and has no topic restrictions. it is awarded to one qualified and approved applicant. Considerations include the investigator’s experience, background, availability of scientific material, and other resources.

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SBAS & AWS Visiting Professor and Host Site Announced

The Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) and the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS)

Visiting Professor & Host Institution Announced
University of California San Francisco (UCSF)

The Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) and the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) are pleased to announce that Chelsea Dorsey, MD, has been selected as the 2023-2024 SBAS & AWS Visiting Professor. Dr. Dorsey will be hosted for two days by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to offer presentations and connect with local women surgical faculty, residents, and students.

About the SBAS & AWS Visiting Professor Program


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AWS PTS Partnership

AWS Partnership with Panamerican Trauma Society

Apply by September 18

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Call for Committee Members


Get Involved in AWS as a Committee Member

Apply by November 2


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Shining Star Leadership Coaching

2023 Shining Star Participants Announced

Congratulations to the individuals participating in the inaugural AWS Shining Star Leadership Program:

  • Dr. Annabelle Fonseca, University of South Alabama
  • Dr. Emily Faulks, Virginia Tech Carilion
  • Dr. Shannon Small, Southshore University Hospital
  • Dr. Sarah Popek, University of New Mexico
  • Dr. Taryne Imai, Queen's Medical Center / University of Hawaii
  • Dr. Natasha Hansraj, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Dr. Sarah Faris, The University of Chicago Medicine
  • Dr. Lisa Marie Knowlton, Stanford University Medical Center
  • Dr. Natasha Becker, Hackensack Medical Center
  • Dr. Brenessa Lindeman, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

About the AWS Shining Star Leadership Coaching Program

One of the key missions of the Association of Women Surgeons is "to inspire, encourage, and enable women surgeons to realize their professional and personal goals."

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Breaking the Glass Ceiling


"Breaking the Glass Ceiling”
Winners Announced

The Association of Women Surgeons is pleased to announce the 2023 Breaking the Glass Ceiling Leadership Education Program Awardees!

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ASA Surgical Leaders Fellowship Grant

ASA Surgical Leaders Fellowship Grant 

Deadline to Apply is August 11

The Executive Council of the Association of Women Surgeons is pleased to invite you to submit self-nominations for the American Surgical Association Surgical Leaders Fellowship Grant for 2024.

The Fellowship Grant covers in part a two-week travel period and pays a grant to the Fellow’s institution of $5,000 ($2,500 each from the ASA and the AWS). The Fellowship grant is ideally suited for mid-level or senior academic surgeons with leadership training who seek a future leadership role and are at the stage in their career to benefit from exposure to a leadership shadowing experience.

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Book Review: July 2023

Behind Her Scalpel: A Practical Guide to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with Stories of Female Surgeons 

Authored and Edited by Cathy Hung, DDS

Dr. Cathy Hung is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a solo practice owner in New Jersey. She is a native of Taipei, Taiwan and came to the US alone at age eighteen on a student visa. She earned her BS in psychology with a minor in music from UC Berkeley and DDS from Columbia University. She received her OMFS training from Lincoln Medical and Mental Center in the Bronx, New York. She is an alumna of the American Dental Association’s Institute for Diversity in Leadership program. She is also a speaker, writer, and Certified Life Coach in cultural competency. She is an author, blogger, and selected member of Forbes’ Women Forum and Rebecca Minkoff’s Female Founders Collective.

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Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Julie K Freed

Physician Scientists are uniquely positioned to bridge scientific discovery and clinical care. As such, our training involves learning clinical skills, understanding how to design and test hypotheses, as well as mastering the art of writing and presenting our findings. While these are crucial for developing our clinical-care skills and research acumen, there are innumerous other professional opportunities that physician scientists often partake in, including national or institutional leadership, medical/graduate education, outreach and mentorship, policy/advocacy, industrial consulting, and entrepreneurship. As such, training MD-PhD students often requires a personalized approach that empowers them to gain the skills necessary for their unique career interests.

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AWS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Travel Awards

AWS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Travel Awards

2023 AWS DEI Travel Awardees

AWS, in collaboration with our partners, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 AWS DEI Travel Awards! 

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AWS Resident Travel Award

AWS Resident Travel Award
Apply by August 17

The 2023 AWS Annual Conference is taking place in Boston from October 21-23. The conference offers residents an opportunity to network, expand their knowledge, and develop new leadership skills. To assist residents in attending the #AWS2023 conference, The Association of Women Surgeons is offering up to four $500 scholarships for AWS resident members to travel to the conference in Boston.

AWS resident members are invited to complete the below application by August 17. The AWS Resident Travel Award is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Margaret Dunn, Dr. Lauren Nosanov, and the AWS Foundation. 

Apply Here

Starr Research Forum

AWS Starr Research Forum

Calling all students, residents, and fellows with research to share!
Due June 30

Student, resident and fellow members of AWS may submit up to two abstracts for the AWS Starr Medical Student and Resident Research Forum at the 2023 AWS Annual Conference. Abstracts are limited to 300 words and must have an Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions, and supporting author information. Incomplete abstracts will not be considered. Case reports and literature reviews will not be accepted. The deadline is 11:59PM EST on June 30th. 

Abstracts presented at other conferences are allowed, except for abstracts that you plan to present at the ACS conference. You cannot send an abstract on a project that is published prior to the conference. If your abstract is accepted, you must register for the 2023 AWS Annual Conference as a Student/Resident and present your work in person during the Scientific Session at the conference. (Please note that this session does not conflict with the medical student or resident activities at the ACS Clinical Congress.)

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Pride Month with AOSA and AWSF

Celebrate Pride Month with AOSA & AWSF
Join Us for a Contest that will Knock Your Socks Off!

June is Pride Month, and we are ready to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community! The Association of Out Surgeons and Allies and the Association of Women Surgeons Foundation invite you to celebrate diversity and support inclusiveness by joining a fun contest this month. 

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Call for Applications: SBAS & AWS Visiting Professorship

The Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) and the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) Visiting Professorship

Call for Applications

Application Deadline EXTENDED to June 22, 2023


To provide active SBAS and AWS members who are faculty members at the rank of Associate Professor and within 15 years of their faculty appointment the opportunity to serve as a Visiting Professor for the Department of Surgery at a host institution. The host site application will open soon.

To promote the careers of mid-career SBAS-AWS members and recognize academic excellence.

The awardee must be an active member in good standing with SBAS or ¬AWS and be an Associate Professor of Surgery within 15 years of their faculty appointment. If awarded, you will be expected to join the other organization.

Requirements for application:

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Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Jennifer Plichta

Dr. Jennifer Plichta is a breast surgeon at Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, North Carolina. She graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana and completed her residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. She completed her fellowship training in breast surgical oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Plichta is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Population Health Sciences at Duke University, and she serves as the Director of the Breast Risk Assessment Clinic and Co-Director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at the Duke Cancer Institute. In addition, Dr. Plichta takes time to mentor many students throughout different stages of training at Duke University School of Medicine. She also helps to educate her local community about breast cancer and breast health.

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