Women Pioneers in Surgery

Session Description

The session will demonstrate the commitment of early women surgeons to learning the discipline of surgery and applying their craft to the benefit of their patients. Each faced gender discrimination at every stage of their careers: traditional roles that restricted women to the home as wives and mothers, or in jobs like nursing and teaching deemed socially acceptable tasks for women; medical school enrollments that barred entry into the profession; widespread bias against women training in surgery; and the absence of woman role models and mentors. Their individual stories show their dedication and drive, ultimately contributing to significant advances in the care of surgical disease, improving the field of surgery itself beyond the issues of gender and diversity.

Moderator: Mary H. McGrath, MD, MPH, FACS, San Francisco, CA

Co-Moderator: Hilary A. Sanfey, MB, BCh, FACS, Springfield, IL


Overview of Women in the Surgical Workforce
Mary H. McGrath, MD, MPH, FACS, San Francisco, CA

The First Woman Surgeon in the U.S. (Mary Edwards Walker, 1832-1919)
Kimberly A. Davis, MD, FACS, New Haven, CT

The First Woman Surgeon in Canada (Jennie Smillie Robertson 1878-1981)
Robin S. McLeod, MD, FACS, Toronto, ON

The First Underrepresented Minority Woman Surgeon in the U.S. (Matilda Arabella Evans, 1897)
Susan E. Pories, MD, FACS, Cambridge, MA

The First Women American College of Surgeons Fellows
Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD, FACS, Iowa City, IA

Sponsored by the Women in Surgery Committee and the American College of Surgeons History Group

Target Audience

  • Practicing surgeons
  • Residents

Learning Objectives

  • Apply new knowledge and ideas to improve their surgical practice
  • Adapt concepts and quality measures in support of research advancements
  • Enhance the quality of patient care


For questions about the course, please contact elearning@facs.org.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Certificate of Completion
  • 1.50 Self Assessment Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Disclosure Information

In accordance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria, the American College of Surgeons must ensure that anyone in a position to control the content of the educational activity (planners and speakers/authors/discussants/moderators) has disclosed all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. For additional information, please visit the ACCME website.

The ACCME also requires that ACS manage any reported conflict and eliminate the potential for bias during the educational activity. Any conflicts noted below have been managed to our satisfaction. The disclosure information is intended to identify any commercial relationships and allow learners to form their own judgments. However, if you perceive a bias during a activity, please report it on the evaluation.

(Download the full list of disclosures).

Faculty and Disclosures

Carol Scott-Conner MD, PhD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Hilary A. Sanfey MB, BCh, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Kimberly A. Davis MD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Mary H. McGrath MD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Robin S. McLeod MD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Susan E. Pories MD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose

Program Committee and Disclosures

CHAIR: Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FAAP, FRCSEng(Hon), Miami, FL - Nothing to Disclosure
VICE-CHAIR: David T. Cooke, MD, FACS, Sacramento, CA - Nothing to Disclosure


David C. Borgstrom, MD, FACS, Morgantown, WV - Nothing to Disclosure
Daniel L. Dent, MD, FACS, San Antonio, TX - Nothing to Disclosure
Roger R. Dmochowski, MD, FACS, Nashville, TN - Allergen: Honoraria: Consultant
Cynthia D. Downard, MD, FACS, Louisville, KY - Nothing to Disclosure
Audra A. Duncan, MD, FACS, London, ON - Nothing to Disclosure
Mariam F. Eskander, MD, Boston, MA - Nothing to Disclosure
Paula Ferrada, MD, FACS, Richmond, VA - Nothing to Disclosure
Neil H. Hyman, MD, FACS, Chicago, IL - Nothing to Disclosure
Martin S. Karpeh, Jr., MD, FACS, New York, NY - Nothing to Disclosure
Dennis H. Kraus, MD, FACS, New York, NY - Nothing to Disclosure
Kenneth W. Sharp, MD, FACS, Nashville, TN - Nothing to Disclosure


Daniel M. Herron, MD, FACS, FASBMS, New York, NY - Nothing to Disclosure
Edith Tzeng, MD, FACS, Pittsburgh, PA - Nothing to Disclosure


Barbara Lee Bass, MD, FACS, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCOSECSA(Hon), Houston, TX - Nothing to Disclosure
Quan-Yang Duh, MD, FACS, San Francisco, CA - Nothing to Disclosure
B. J. Hancock, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Winnipeg, MB - Nothing to Disclosure
Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), Seattle, WA - Nothing to Disclosure

Continuing Medical Education Credit Information


The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

The American College of Surgeons designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Of the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ listed above, a maximum of 1.5 credits meets the requirements for Self-Assessment.

American College of Surgeons and ACGME Logos

Note: Residents will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Certificate of Completion
  • 1.50 Self Assessment Credit
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This course is available as part of the Clinical Congress 2019 Webcast Packages