Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Member Services, recently concluded her term (2016–2017) as president of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS). She is the first woman to have served in that role.
Dr. Turner addressed attendees during the April 27–29 SBAS annual meeting, cohosted with the University of Chicago Medicine and Department of Surgery, IL, which is chaired by Jeffrey B. Matthews, MD, FACS, Dallas B. Phemister Professor of Surgery. In her presidential address, The Enduring Influence of Surgical Societies, she described the first time she attended an SBAS meeting as a medical student and expressed her gratitude for being able to lead the meeting as its 22nd president. “I am also grateful to SBAS for the privilege of serving as its first female president,” she said. (Watch a video from the meeting on the Women of SBAS, including Dr. Turner on the SBAS website.)
In her address, Dr. Turner highlighted historical elements of surgery and the activities of surgical societies. She challenged SBAS to continue to expand diversity in all contexts, including age, specialty, gender, and representative institutional members. She urged the organization to extend its influence by amplifying existing relationships with other organizations, such as the ACS, National Institutes of Health, and the Association of American Medical Colleges, while developing new partnerships with other societies and institutions. She also noted that mentorship and excellence in the surgical sciences continue to be the hallmarks of SBAS.
“SBAS has become a formidable scientific forum for surgeons of all backgrounds interested in quality and excellence,” Dr. Turner said. “[Our membership is] small in number, but the power invested in our members and leaders is substantial; we are influential.”
Anthony Stallion, MD, FACS, chief of pediatric surgery, Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, NC, was installed as Dr. Turner’s successor.