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Johns Hopkins' First Female Surgery Professor Wins Women in Science Award - 03/09/2012

Johns Hopkins' First Female Surgery Professor Wins Women in Science Award

Release Date: March 9, 2012

Pamela A. Lipsett, M.D., M.H.P.E., the first female professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is the 2012 recipient of the American Medical Women’s Association’s (AMWA) Women in Science Award, the organization announced this week.

The Woman in Science Award is presented, according to AMWA, to a female physician who has made exceptional contributions to medical science, especially in women's health, through her basic and/or clinical research, publications and leadership in her field. Among the criteria are evidence of top-quality scientific research, extensive publication record and a high national leadership profile.

“Pam Lipsett exemplifies that a woman in medicine is above all a woman in science, whose primary mission is to understand how the body works in order to repair it,” Nancy R. Church, M.D., the AMWA Awards committee chair, said in making the announcement. “She has overcome many personal challenges herself to achieve her preeminence in surgery. I am delighted she has accepted this award.”

After a childhood surgery to correct a club foot, and years spent in a wheelchair and leg braces after a bout with polio, Lipsett became determined to become a surgeon herself. She received her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, going on to become only the third woman to complete a general surgery residency at Johns Hopkins.

In 2003, she became the first female professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, and now also holds the Warfield M. Firor Chair of Surgery and appointments in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Today, Lipsett concentrates on studying, preventing and treating infections in intensive care units. She has also made major contributions in fields ranging from biochemistry and clinical pharmacology, to the economics of the intensive care unit to resident duty hours. Along with her work in critical care, she has received many teaching awards.

“Pam Lipsett is a true leader in academic surgery — she is so deserving of this award,” says Julie A. Freischlag, M.D., a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of Hopkins’ Department of Surgery. “Her commitment to the practice and art of surgery is second to no one with whom I have had the pleasure of calling my colleague.”

Lipsett is the immediate past-president of the 15,000 member of Society of Critical Care Medicine (the largest critical care organization in the world) and president of the Surgical Infection Society. She is widely published and the author of more than 150 articles and chapters in the medical literature.

The awards presentation will be held at AMWA’s 97th Annual Meeting in April.

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