Through visiting educator programs, leadership training, mentorship support, and funding of supplies, Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery will help female surgeons grow their knowledge and as a result, provide networks of reconstructive surgical care within their communities. The first year of the partnership will focus on five up-and-coming female surgeons -- Dr. Faith Chengetayi Muchemwa of Zimbabwe, Dr. Celma Marina Teles Issufo of Mozambique, Dr. Shilu Shrestha of Nepal, Dr. Lorena Escudero Castro of Ecuador, and Dr. Farzana Bilquis Ibrahim.
Says Dr. Chang of the program, "These women are not only learning surgical skills, but how to navigate a male-dominated field, with specialty curriculum in reconstructive surgery and career advancement through our partnership with SkinCeuticals. It was a similar story in the US one generation ago -- now more than half of medical students are women and of my 18 faculty at Stanford University, 8 are women. It is an issue critical to me as a father of three daughters. We would like to mentor and empower these pioneering women surgeons for future generations."
How It Helps
For people in developing countries who suffer from burn injuries or congenital conditions, a change in their appearance can change their lives--enabling them to fully participate in their communities, attend school, and provide for their families. For these people, reconstructive plastic surgery is transformative at many levels - yet 5 billion people worldwide lack access to safe, timely surgical care.
SkinCeuticals believes that equality of medical training is essential to meeting this need. Today, there are only three female surgeons for every 1 million people in low income countries, often due to a lack of equal access to significant technical training or obstacles to gaining acceptance in their field. SkinCeuticals and ReSurge International aim to correct this imbalance.
ReSurge International was founded in 1969, and since its inception, it has provided more than 100,000 reconstructive surgeries for patients in developing countries.
Leslie Harris, Global General Manager of SkinCeuticals, adds, "Today, reconstructive surgical care is out of reach for 2/3 of the population. If we want to change this statistic, we need to change the number of women surgeons in low income countries who often face unique barriers to entering the field. This mission is an evolution of Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, our founding scientist's, commitment to the medical community and spirit of philanthropy. We are honored to partner with Resurge International in the years to come."