About Hilary Sanfey, MD

Dr. Hilary Sanfey is a Professor of Surgery and Vice-Chair for Surgical Education in the Department of Surgery at Southern Illinois University in Springfield, Illinois. She graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1976, underwent surgical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), spent three years as a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University, and worked as a consultant transplant surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for four years before moving to the University of Virginia in 1996. In 1992, Dr. Sanfey was a member of the team that performed the first liver transplant in Scotland. At the University of Virginia, she continued to practice as a transplant surgeon and also served as the Associate Program Director and Clerkship Co-Director until she left for SIU in 2008. In 2009 she received a Master's Degree in Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Dr. Sanfey was the first woman in Ireland to complete Higher Surgical Training in General Surgery, the first to be appointed as a Consultant General Surgeon in Scotland, and the first to be promoted to the rank of tenured Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Virginia. She is the recipient of the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award and Nina Starr Braunwald Award. She is a past president of AWS, a former member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Governors, past president of the International Society of Surgery US Chapter, past chair of the ACS Women in Surgery Committee and immediate past ACS First Vice President. Dr. Sanfey is the current chair of the AWS Foundation. Dr. Sanfey has served as faculty for the ACS Residents as Teachers and Leaders Program, was invited to spend three months in Ireland (November 2013 – January 2014) as an adviser to the RCSI Higher Surgical Training Program and is currently the Co-chair (with Dr. Ajit Sachdeva) of the Steering Committee for the ACS Certificate in Applied Surgical Education Leadership (CASEL) program.


Dr. Sanfey is a member of the American Surgical Association, a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of England (ad eundem) and a Fellow ad hominem of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in March 2018.