Can we have an AWS Visiting Professor every year?

07 Apr 2014
Submitted by: Dr. Jane Wey
CCF Chair of Surgery: Dr. Matt Walsh

Summary of Visit
AWS Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor Dr. Tuttle-Newhall
Cleveland Clinic
March 4-5, 2014
Dr. Tuttle-Newhall arrived on March 4, 2014 for her visit hosted by the Cleveland Clinic. In the afternoon, she presented on “Challenges for Women in Academic Medicine” to a group of 25 residents and staff from across the Cleveland Clinic campus, hosted by the Women’s Professional Staff Association (WPSA). This was followed by a reception and a lively question/answer session.  She also had a chance to review the 2013 WPSA Annual Report, documenting accomplishments by the Cleveland Clinic women staff and ongoing initiatives. The staff in attendance included those practicing in surgery, gynecology, emergency medicine, and various other surgical and medical subspecialists. Dialogues included those addressing Dr. Tuttle-Newhall’s past experiences and her insights and advice for trainees and other staff. Several people requested that she share her slideset so that those unable to attend the event could still benefit from her insights.
Dr. Tuttle-Newhall was then the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by the Women’s Professional Staff Association, attended by selected women surgical residents, surgical staff (including a former co-resident of Dr. Tuttle-Newhall’s), and the WPSA president, Dr. Margaret McKenzie (gynecology).  Again conversation was lively, ranging from casual conversation about life experiences to more serious discussions about women in academic/medical leadership and collaborative efforts between women’s organizations.
On March 5, Dr. Tuttle-Newhall presented Grand Rounds on “Quality, Data, and Transparency: The New Era of Healthcare” to over 100 staff and trainees of the Digestive Disease Institute, where she was introduced by Dr. Dympna Kelly, a senior transplant surgeon and professional associate of Dr. Tuttle-Newhall’s . This was a well-attended event, which again generated an animated question/answer session.
Following Grand Rounds, Dr. Tuttle-Newhall met with a group of approximately 60 residents and fellows.  The group consisted of general surgery residents, abdominal transplant fellows, liver transplant fellows and a kidney/pancreas transplant fellow.  Five transplant related cases were presented by the residents and fellows and were discussed in detail with Dr. Tuttle-Newhall, with many of the transplant staff in attendance, as well. 
Next, Dr. Tuttle-Newhall was taken on a tour of the hospital, this included a viewing of the transplant operating rooms and the transplant regular nursing floor. Brief walk rounds were conducted and an additional patient case was presented to Dr. Tuttle-Newhall. With patient permission, she reviewed relevant labs and pertinent images with the resident group. She then briefly met and conversed with this pre-selected liver transplant patient. 
Finally, Dr. Tuttle-Newhall had lunch with residents, fellows and staff surgeons, hosted by the Department of General Surgery. A series of final questions were asked and answered and Dr. Tuttle-Newhall made closing remarks.
Overall, Dr. Tuttle-Newhall’s visit was very well received by everyone at the Cleveland Clinic. The attendees at her various presentations were uniformly impressed by her. Many made comments about her accomplishments “for someone so young” and her friendly and approachable personality.
Her presentation on “Challenges to Women in Academic Medicine/Surgery” in particular struck a chord with many non-surgical women physicians, and several people approached me afterwards to express appreciation that the event was opened up and publicized for all women physicians, rather than just surgeons. I’ve already been asked whether we can have a visiting AWS professor every year! In contrast, the Grand Rounds presentation was made to our mostly-male institute, but even the senior staff were impressed by her and remained in attendance to hear her insights during the resident case presentations. We were privileged to host Dr. Tuttle-Newhall. She proved to be an excellent visiting professor and ambassador for the AWS, raising awareness of the challenges of being a women surgeon while also increasing visibility of how successful and accomplished a woman surgeon can become. 

Read Dr. Tuttle-Newhall’s experiences as an AWS Visiting Professor here

Read her talk “Challenges for Women in Academic Medicine and the Question of Leadership.

Coming soon… applications for 2014-2015 Visiting Professors and host sites! 

The Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor program provides medical schools with the opportunity to request top women surgeons as speakers and receive funding from the AWS Foundation. Opportunities to lecture heighten the visibility of women surgeons while encouraging women medical students to pursue similar careers. In addition, the Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor Program promotes dialogue between practicing surgeons and the academic community. The program was recently named in memory of Dr. Kim Ephgrave (1956-2012), who served in the AWS Leadership from 1997 – 2002 and as AWS President in 2000/2001.

Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professors have an opportunity to share professional and personal experiences with Department Chairs, Faculty, Residents and Students through grand rounds, walk rounds, lecture and research presentations and other arranged opportunities.

Medical Centers provide the platform for the experience by hosting the Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor at a breakfast, luncheon and/or dinner meetings and arranging for clinical experiences.

Click here for more information on the Visiting Professor Program. 

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