What it’s like to be a visiting professor.

21 Mar 2014

The AWS 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 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.

The following is from one of the 2014 Visiting Professors: Dr. Betsy Tuttle Newhall who visited Cleveland Clinic. 

It was my honor and pleasure to represent the Association of Women Surgeons as the Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor this year at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). I had a wonderful time and gave two talks, one to the Women’s Physician Professional Association and the other at the Digestive Disease Grand Rounds. I interacted with physicians, surgeons, residents and students. Dr. Jane Wey and Dr. Walsh were outstanding hosts and I am grateful for their time and effort. I would also like to thank the transplant team, who spent the morning with me presenting incredibly challenging cases – the sort all transplant surgeons care for, and in some circumstances, dread. I am grateful to Dr. Charlie Miller and his team for their incredible attention. Finally, to Dr. Dympna Kelly who gave me the most outstanding introduction. (I kept looking behind me to see to whom she was really referring.) I have known Dr. Kelly for some time and was happy to see that she is happy and fulfilled in her role at the CCF. Thanks to all of you for this great honor.

In speaking to the Professional Women’s Association Tuesday night, I had the honor of reflecting on my now twenty years of practice and being a woman in Academic Surgery. I had the luxury of recently writing a chapter for the Surgical Career Guide for AWS with Dr. Leigh Neumayer regarding leadership and was able to put that together with my experiential advice based on the context of that project. It is hard to believe that I am now fifty years of age, with a teenager, a son who will soon be a teenager, and married for twenty-three years. Life moves quickly both professionally and personally. I believe that the life unexamined, while worth living (my apologies to Socrates), is not becoming of an intellectual woman. I have found fifty to be a freeing birthday and less a birthday based in fear.

The next blog post is a summary of my talk to the outstanding women physicians, surgeons and their trainees at the CCF. Read Challengesfor Women in Academic Medicine and the Question of Leadership

Dr. Betsy Tuttle Newhall 
Professor of Surgery, and Urology
Division Chief of Abdominal Transplantation
Surgical Director for UNOS, Kidney and Kidney Pancreas Program
Saint Louis University

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *