AWS News & Opportunities

AWS & AWSF News:

Opportunities and Programs for AWS Members - Join Now to Participate

  • April 12Submissions due for the Pride Month sock design contest. Note: must be a member of AWS or AOSA to qualify.
  • April 18: Applications due for Breaking the Glass Ceiling.
  • April 22 at 7pm ET: AWS Building an Academic Foundation: Family Planning for Early Career Academic Surgeons (info)
  • April 25: Call for AJS abstract reviewers closes.
  • May 2: Submit an abstract for the AWS Edition of The American Journal of Surgery. Note: at least one author must be an AWS member.
  • May 4: AWS & LSS Visiting Professorship application due. Note: membership in AWS and LSS required.
  • May 6 at 6pm ET: AWS Reviewer Academy (invitation only)

Additional Programs & Opportunities:

  • April 13 at 2pm ET: AWS High School Outreach Event (info)
  • April 25: Institutions are invited to apply to host AWSF Visiting Professor Dr. Plichta.
  • April 29: AWS Medical Student Data Mani
  • May 8 at 7:30pm ET: AWS Publications Webinar - Using Pens, Not Knives (register)
  • May 14 at 8pm ET: AWS Resident & Fellow Committee Meeting (register)
  • May 23: AWSF Award nominations due.
  • October 18 & 19: 2024 AWS Annual Conference in San Francisco, California (mark your calendar)
  • October 20: The 2024 AWS Foundation Annual Dinner & Gala (mark your calendar)

Partner Organization Updates:

  • AASThe Association for Academic Surgery seeks to inspire and develop young academic surgeons. Learn more on their website.
  • AWMA: Members of AWS can now get a complimentary affiliate membership in the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)! Learn more here.
  • AOSA: The Association of Out Surgeons & Allies is partnering with AWS to offer a sock design contest for Pride Month! Enter here.
  • ASA: Applications for the 2025-2027 American Surgical Association Foundation Fellowship Research Awards are open through June 15.
  • LSS: The Latino Surgical Society is hosting a Surgical Symposium on Latino Health on May 17 in Seattle, WARegister now!
  • SAASSubmit an abstract by April 22 for the 9th Annual SAAS Meeting. 
  • SBAS: The mission of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons is to improve health, advance science, and foster careers of African American and other underrepresented minority surgeons. Learn more here.
  • WIM: The 2024 Women in Medicine Annual Summit will take place September 13-14 in Chicago. Nominate an #IStandWithHer awardee and/or submit a summit abstract by May 31.


Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Julie Samora

Dr. Julie Samora is a pediatric hand surgeon at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH, where she is Associate Chief Quality Officer and director of quality improvement within the department of orthopaedics. She received her orthopaedic training at Ohio State University and completed a fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at Harvard.  She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, a Master of Music at Yale University, and an MD/PhD at West Virginia University, where she concomitantly earned a master of public health and public administration.  Dr. Samora is a founding member of Pride Ortho, has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (past president) and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (member-at-large), and is currently on the BOD of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.  She has published more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is co-editor of the Springer textbook: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in Orthopaedics.  Dr. Samora has a passion for providing safe, efficient, culturally sensitive, and excellent patient care, focusing on best practices and quality improvement initiatives.

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Book Review: March 2024

You Are Not Broken

Author: Kelly Capserson, MD
Book Reviewer: Sarah Suhood, OMS III


Author Bio

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Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Laura DiChiacchio

Dr. Laura DiChiacchio is a current cardiothoracic surgery fellow at the University of Utah Hospital. She will graduate in June and then join Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as an advanced fellow in thoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. She completed her general surgery training at the University of Maryland/R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, MD. She is a graduate of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where she completed a PhD in Biophysics, Structural & Computational Biology before falling in love with surgery at the end of her clinical rotations. During her general surgery training, she spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the cardiac xenotransplantation laboratory of Drs. Muhammad Mohiuddin and Bartley Griffith, cementing her relationship with cardiac surgery and thoracic transplantation. She is a happy wife and proud mother to her son Henry.

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NIH CSR Reviewer

National Institute of Health CSR Reviewer Pool

AWS Members Can Apply by January 31 for Quarter 1

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) has requested recommendations for AWS members willing and qualified to serve in the NIH CSR Reviewer Pool. Interested candidates are asked to complete the submission form below.

Nominated scientists should meet the following criteria:
• willing to serve as reviewers
• seen as experts, with integrity, in their field.
• have an active research program, extramural funding, and not currently be a standing member of an NIH study section or advisory council.
• productive scientists from diverse backgrounds and career stages – e.g. assistant, associate, and full professors.

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Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Meredith Baker MD

Dr. Meredith Baker MD, pediatric surgeon and attending physician at Maine Medical Center, grew up in the state of New Hampshire. She recounts following her veterinarian father around in childhood and that for as long as she can remember, she wanted to be a “doctor for human children.” However, it was not until medical school that she realized the type of doctor for children she wanted to be was a pediatric surgeon.

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Book Review: November 2023

“Become the Boss MD: Success Beyond Residency”

Author: Amy Vertrees

Book Reviewer: Denise Nemeth, OMS III

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ABS Council Nominations

AWS Invites You to Submit Your Nomination for the Council of the American Board of Surgery

Deadline November 10, 2023

The American Board of Surgery has moved from representational to competency-based composition for its membership. AWS has the opportunity to nominate up to three nominees from their membership to serve on the American Board of Surgery Council.

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Book Review: September 2023


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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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AWS Reviewer Academy

Call for Applicants: AWS-SURGERY Reviewer Academy

Applications EXTENDED to November 6, 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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Call for Committee Members


Get Involved in AWS as a Committee Member

Apply by November 2


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AWS PTS Partnership

AWS Partnership with Panamerican Trauma Society

Apply by September 18

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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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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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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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