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Trailblazing surgeon Dr Patricia J. Numann honored for lifetime of achievement

Trailblazing surgeon Dr Patricia J. Numann honored for lifetime of achievement

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- Patricia J. Numann, MD, the Lloyd S. Rogers Professor of Surgery Emerita at Upstate Medical University and a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita, has received the 2017 Lila A. Wallis Women’s Health Award from the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). The award is given to an individual whose lifetime achievements, accomplishments, motivation, mentorship, energy and enthusiasm for women's health, education, and research reflect the trailblazing achievements and influences in women’s health exemplified by Dr. Lila A. Wallis, one of AMWA’s past presidents. Numann received the award at the organization's annual meeting April 1.

Numann graduated from Upstate Medical University in 1965 and pursued a surgical residency. She became the first woman surgeon in Syracuse. She has served on the board of numerous organizations that advocate for women’s care and she has served as chair of the American Board of Surgery and president of the American College of Surgeons. She attended the first Women in Academia Leadership program sponsored by  AMWA and AAMC in 1978. This experience further convinced her of the need for advocacy for women. She founded the Association of Women Surgeons to support the personal and professional needs of women surgeons. In recent years she has become involved in supporting women surgeons and women's health internationally.

A resident of Syracuse, Numann has ardently devoted her entire professional life to Upstate Medical University. After earning a medical degree there in 1965, she completed a combined internship in medicine and surgery (1965-66) and then trained as a general surgery resident (1966-70). After residency, she was appointed assistant professor of surgery (1970-75), and then rose through the academic ranks at SUNY Upstate serving as associate professor of surgery (1975-89); associate dean of the college of medicine (1978-84); associate dean of the college of medicine clinical affairs (1989-94); professor of surgery (1989-2007); medical director of the university hospital (1997-2007); and Lloyd S. Rogers Professor of Surgery (2000-07).

Throughout her surgical career, Numann’s clinical and scientific interests have focused on breast disease and thyroid and parathyroid disease, a commitment reflected in the establishment of the Patricia J. Numann Breast & Endocrine Surgery Center at Upstate in 2007. Numann has also served as an author or co-author of several chapters in surgical textbooks as well as numerous journal articles and abstracts, many of which focus on breast and parathyroid disease.

In the words of her nominator, Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, “As the first woman ever to serve on the 12 member Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association and the first woman vice chair and chair of the American Board of Surgery, she has been shattering glass ceilings for most of her career. A well-known author and speaker, she is known as an outstanding and motivating educator and has received numerous honors for her teaching. Dr. Numann's unwavering support for women in medicine and surgery, along with her dedication to improve the health of women has had a major impact on us all.”