Get Involved

Help shape the future of AWS!

Volunteer committees of the AWS play a vital role in helping the organization determine and achieve its strategic goals. By volunteering on a committee, you can take part in shaping the future of AWS, not to mention build connections with your fellow members and gain valuable experience. Committees run from October to October and typically meet 3-6 times per year via 30-60 minute conference calls.

 The call for 2020-2021 committees is now closed.

2021 Conference Planning Committee

This committee is responsible for theme development of the 2021 AWS Annual Conference, to be held in Chicago, Illinois, as well as the conference program in terms of content, sessions, and speakers. A subcommittee is also responsible for the fundraising to support the conference.

Clinical Practice Committee

This committee focuses on assessing the needs of and developing resources to support and promote women in various types of surgical practice, including academic, private, rural, and military. While some challenges faced by women surgeons are nearly universal, we recognize that each type of practice has its own unique hurdles. This committee explores some of the challenges faced in each area and helps create networks within our membership for advice as well as lasting resources for members. Additionally, we recognize that career paths often shift during our lifetime and we have developed resources for women who are going through transitions of practice. Members of this committee come from all variations of practice, and hearing the perspectives and input is enlightening!

Learn more about the CPC and see their list of tools and resources.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee creates content for the social media communications of AWS on several platforms. We are divided into subcommittees: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blog, Dear Pat, and Podcast. We invite members of all training and practice levels to join if you are interested in participating on social media. We participate year-round in elevating the exposure of the organization and of the accomplishments of women surgeons on social media and offer opportunities for engagement among members via social media.

Grants and Fellowship Committee

The Grants and Fellowship Committee reviews applications and selects the recipient for the Ethicon AWS Fellowship Grant. Committee members will also be tasked with reviewing applicants for combined Visiting Professorships with other societies. In addition, we are involved in developing new sources of funding for grants and speaker series, in collaboration with the AWS leadership. Students, Residents, or Fellows are ex-officio Grants and Fellowship committee members. 

Medical Student Committee

Comprised of medical students, this committee works on student programs, including, but not limited to, resource development, mentorship opportunities, and research initiatives. Please note: committee members must be members of AWS and serve from May to May. Applications for this committee are sent out to the membership and posted on the AWS website.

Publications Committee

The publications committee has a main goal of identifying and fostering research and publication opportunities relevant to the organization. The committee produces an AWS Annual Report, is responsible for updates to AWS publications such as the Pocket Mentor and Career Resource Guides and updates the AWS Wikipedia site annually. Additionally, members of the committee provide assistance to the American Journal of Surgery editors in producing the AJS/AWS annual issue by assisting with the submission review process. The committee assists with the Scientific Session at Annual Conference and helps foster the development of manuscript review skills for trainees and junior faculty. Committee members must be committed to being involved with one project and committee calls every two months. 

Resident and Fellows Committee

The AWS Resident and Fellow Committee is focused on addressing surgical trainee programs and issues, with an emphasis on engaging residents and fellows in the AWS at an early stage in their careers. Committee members work closely with many of the other additional AWS committees, with a significant level of interaction with the Medical Student committee.

#HeForShe Committee

The #HeForShe Committee focuses on identifying ways in which we can support and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in surgery. We are looking forward to collaborating with key stakeholders in actionable outcomes to mitigate marginalization of women and underrepresented minorities in surgery.


  • To collate best gender equity practices and resources
  • Curate tools to ensure a safe environment for all surgeons
  • Curate tools to teach best practices in mentoring women surgeons
  • Curate tools to teach best practices in sponsoring women surgeons
  • Develop tools to teach men and women surgeons to be allies in the pursuit of gender equity
  • Disseminate effective strategies to promote gender equity in surgery

Member Services Committee

This committee provides feedback and participates in activities designed to support membership recruitment, retention, and engagement. Areas of work include, but are not limited to: institutional membership engagement, regional membership development, mentor/ambassador program engagement, and general recruitment and retention outreach. This is an active and engaged committee that is eager to grow in numbers and ideas. We welcome committee members with diverse backgrounds of practice, training, geography, and more.

Outreach Committee

As AWS continues to grow and build its national and international reputation, we are looking to strengthen our collaborations and partnerships with other specialty societies and surgical organizations. This task force has been built in order to start coordinating these efforts so that we can have a larger impact and work collaboratively to support increasing gender and racial diversity in surgery.

The key aims of the AWS Outreach Taskforce will be:

  • To work with the key national surgical and subspecialty societies to combine efforts to promote women/minorities (will work with council and membership)
  • To work with international groups (will start slowly and build) to increase AWS presence (will work with membership)
  • To work with Chairs of Departments and the American Surgical Association to help set guidelines for institutional equity (will work with council)
  • To develop strategies to partner effectively with industry

View the current AWS Committee Chairs and email them directly.