Mission and History
In recent years, a growing number of women in Japan are entering medical schools, and women account for one-third of newly graduating doctors. As a result, a proportionate increase in number of woman surgeons are unfortunately being confronted with several issues pertaining to the work environment. In 2005, an action plan to improve the status of surgeons was discussed, during which the necessity to support women surgeons was unanimously agreed upon. This led to the establishment of the Committee on Women Surgeons within the Japan Surgical Society in 2007. Sachiyo Suita, M.D. and Ryusei Teramoto, M. D. became the founding members of this Committee. A survey conducted by this committee clearly identified the following major needs besides improvement of the working environment for all surgeons: (1) to enhance the exchange of information and cooperative structure among women surgeons; (2) to support continuous working and career development for women surgeons; (3) to advocate and educate medical students and professionals (including men) and the society as a whole on the support of women surgeons. Since 2008, the Japanese Women Surgeons’ Club has been held as an annual informal breakfast meeting during the Japan Surgical Society Annual Meeting. It was finally agreed that a more formal structure was needed to address the issues and concerns confronting women surgeons, resulting in the establishment of the “Japan Association of Women Surgeons”. The inauguration ceremony of the Association was held on November 20, 2009, at the 71st annual congress of Japan Surgical Association. Through this association, we hope to encourage more women surgeons to demonstrate both talent and professional ability while pursuing a healthy personal life.
Japan Association of Women Surgeons