At the Society of Black Academic Surgeons’ 27th Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 27-29, outgoing President and University of Chicago Medicine general surgeon Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, clinical associate professor of surgery, gave her presidential address in her final act as the organization’s first female leader.
The meeting, which drew more than 200 surgeons from across the country, was hosted by the University of Chicago Medicine and the Department of Surgery; it took place both downtown at the InterContinental Hotel and on campus at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park.
Dr. Turner’s talk, titled “The Enduring Influence of Surgical Societies,” began with a historical perspective on surgery, and then focused on the vital role surgical societies play in connecting physicians from disparate backgrounds, specialties and geographic locations. With stagnant numbers nationally, black academic surgeons often have few role models – at their own institutions and in general – for pursuing academic surgery, she said. SBAS meetings provide a valuable forum for connection, mentoring and inspiration.
“SBAS has become a formidable scientific forum for surgeons of all backgrounds interested in quality and excellence,” she said. “[Our membership is] small in number but the power invested in our members and leaders is substantial; we are influential.”