Undergraduates, medical students, residents and faculty throughout the Birmingham medical community met earlier this week to discuss the personal and professional experiences of women in surgery and the various obstacles they face in the field.

Dr. Taylor Riall speaks to Women in Surgery attendees at the Wine Loft on Monday, April 10, 2017.Dr. Taylor Riall speaks to Women in Surgery attendees at the Wine Loft on Monday, April 10, 2017.The two-day Women in Surgery event began with a low-key Monday night at the Wine Loft where guest speakers Taylor Riall, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the University of Arizona’s Division of General Surgery and Surgical Oncology, and Lauren A. Walter, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Emergency Medicine, talked about the value of professional networking.

“As we progress through our lives and careers, we need a broad mentoring and support system,” Riall said. “Events like this—events that provide opportunities for women to interact—contribute to young women’s ability to develop balanced, successful careers in surgery.”

The event continued Tuesday morning at Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium where Riall gave surgical grand rounds and spoke to attendees about the importance of balancing one’s personal and professional lives.

“My goal was to inspire young women to become surgeons, as well as to become the best versions of themselves,” Riall said. “I wanted to show them that a career in surgery and happiness are not mutually exclusive.”

After Surgery Grand Rounds, Mona Fouad, M.D., M.P.H., senior associate dean of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and David Rogers, M.D., M.H.P.E., senior associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development, gave talks on topics pertaining to academic medicine and mentorship.

"Wellbeing is improved through the sharing of our stories," Rogers said. "We see methods we can adopt to do our work better. Hearing about the struggles and failures of others allows us to be a little less hard on ourselves and provides a sense of relief to learn that everyone has their own challenges."

The UAB Department of Surgery appreciates all our Women in Surgery speakers and event sponsor, ARC Realty.