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June 1993

The Association of Women Surgeons: A Historical Perspective 1981 to 1992

Author Affiliations

From Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(6):633-636. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420180031006

IN 1975, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) published a review of women in surgery as one in a series of socioeconomic reports.1 The intent of this review was to "... present a descriptive profile of women in surgery as a baseline and stimulus for later studies on the continually evolving role of women in surgical practice." The director's memo accompanying this report urged "... all of us to look beyond our prejudices and unsupported convictions toward full use of the gifts women can bring to surgery."

The Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) was founded in 1981, when Patricia Numann, MD, a general surgeon from Syracuse, NY, invited all the female surgeons she could identify for breakfast at the ACS' Clinical Congress in San Francisco, Calif. The 12 women who gathered at this first meeting found that they shared many common experiences, interests, and concerns, and they decided to meet annually

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