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First All-Female Surgical Class Makes History at the University of Rochester

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This past June, the first ever all-female surgical class graduated from the University of Rochester – even though the program is coed.

How is this possible? It turns out that the computer program at the University of Rochester that fills residency positions with medical students randomly filled each spot in the 2010 surgical program with a female student. Now, it’s time for these surgeons to graduate.

Bianca Redhead, M.D., is the Chief Resident in Surgery at URMC, and has had a positive experience within her all-female class.

“Seeing a group of women who work together really well has potentially changed some of the opinions of a lot of the attendings,” she said. “It really hasn’t been an issue at all in terms of how we interact with each other, with the attendings or without patients. I think it’s just provided a bit more of a gender balance.”

Female surgeons are indeed a minority, and recently, some doctors began a unique trend on social media by posing like this popular New Yorker cover, which depicts an operating room of entirely female surgeons looking down at the presumed operating table.

The movement started when endocrine surgeon Dr. Susan Pitt saw the cover and asked three other female surgeons to pose with her to recreate it.

“I just thought it would be cool to replicate this in real life and at the same time, to show people that there really are women surgeons in real life,” Pitt told CNN.

To her surprise, women around the world followed her lead and recreated the picture with their own surgical teams, posting them to Twitter with hashtags like #ILookLikeASurgeon and #NYerORCoverChallenge.

Posts celebrating the New Yorker cover and hashtags have been posted from Mexico, Brazil, Kuwait, the UK, and Saudi Arabia.

Much luck to the University of Rochester’s newest graduated surgical class, and congratulations to them on being a part of this historical entrance into the medical world. The next Grey’s Anatomy episode just practically wrote itself.

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