Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Women in Oral Surgery

Dr. Erin Sheffield

In college I was the “Women in Dentistry” club president. This consisted of me getting excited if I ever found another woman interested in dentistry while at BYU and having  a few meetings with anywhere from about 2-6 girls. I think we even went out to lunch once. It probably cost all of $20.

I was inspired by the Women in Otolaryngology Club that some of my ENT colleagues participate in. From what I have gathered, this consists of having meetings with cake and talking about important issues for women surgeons like salary discrepancies and giving each other free botox injections. Great, right?

So, I’ve decided to start my own version, the (Iowa) Wom(a)n in OMFS Club. And as I recently found out I will remain the lone woman in my residency program after this year’s MATCH DAY for the fifth year in a row, we will have meetings every day! In fact these meetings will last all day for the next year and a half. I may not be able to provide perks like free botox but some of the frequent activities can be fun womanly things like getting ready for work in the morning, thinking about my place in the world as a woman surgeon (less than 3% of women who participate in the OMFS society are women), and even occasional nail polish parties (we can do cosmetic procedures, too)! Of course, there will be some hazing events like nights on call, cleaning the bathroom, and shaving my legs.

On a serious note, I have been lucky to have a female mentor. I am sure that Dr. Morgan has had some effect on me even choosing oral surgery. She has been a great example of being a great surgeon as well as a wonderful mother who seems to do a good job balancing both worlds. I am sad to say that after she expands her family further this next year she will be going very part time and I will essentially truly be the only woman in our department at the hospital (except when she is taking call).

Better get going, there will be nightly meetings and the next one starts in 5 minutes (under my covers)!


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Brooke Bowen said...

That is such a big accomplishment that you were the club president while you were in college. I'm sure that is not an easy responsibility to come across and not an easy job to keep! I also think it's awesome that you pursued your dream of becoming a dentist. Even though it wasn't popular at BYU, I still admire that you went for it! http://www.buckscountyoralsurgery.com

Casey Jones said...

I love seeing woman starting to enter these fields that used to be dominated by males! Being an oral surgeon is a huge dream of my daughter. I will have to show her this article.

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Naomi Tutt said...

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Killiaan Finne said...

Great job, now days there are many womens in this field. And hope to see more in future.
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Megan Mills said...

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