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President's Editorial

Thursday, July 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Women as Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Past, Present and Future
Stephanie J. Drew, DMD, FACS
President, American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Associate Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Emory School of Medicine

 

Women as Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Past, Present and Future

Five powerful factors that apply to societal conflict resolution are: diversity, understanding, respect, collaboration and parity.  Professionals generally organize themselves as a “group or society” that shares ideas, provides mentoring and support, and protects common interests of the group as a whole.  However, most people, including professionals in the group, often cite gender when identifying the professional. A surgeon should be identified solely as a surgeon, regardless of gender.

When an organization is largely composed of a single gender, it may be a challenge to add another gender of professionals.  The new group will affect a cultural change within the organization, which may need to adapt to different perspectives offered and more diverse member needs.  Understanding and respect for needed culture change is of utmost importance for a group’s survival. With an increasing number of women joining our amazing specialty, women will have the support and voice to mentor and encourage other women (and men) to join. 

Without addressing these five factors, equality cannot be created.   

Figure 1Gender diversity in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery is inadequate when speaking of equality at this time.  Specifically, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons has calculated that practicing women make up only 8% of our specialty.  Clearly, more progress is needed to achieve greater gender diversity. 

Shedding light on the history of female dentists, and more specifically our female colleagues’ career paths in oral and maxillofacial surgery may lead us to an understanding of how slowly females have entered our specialty, the biases that may  have prevented them from doing so, and whether a much needed cultural change will evolve as female trailblazers in our field begin to enter into leadership positions. (Figure 1)  

 

A History of Women in Dentistry

Figure 2Lucy Hobbs Taylor is known as the first woman to graduate from a dental school. She was denied admission first to medical school and then to dental school during the times of women’s suffrage, and learned her profession as a private student of the dean at the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.  She then became an apprentice to one of the dentists of the college.  Eventually, she went on to open her own practice in Cincinnati, and later on in Iowa.  It was not until she was sent to the ADA as a Delegate of the Iowa state society that she was recognized and then admitted to the College, graduating in 1866.

Figure 3Long before Lucy Hobbs (Figure 2) graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery dental school in 1866 and became the first female licensed dentist, there was Emeline Roberts Jones (Figure 3). Married to a dentist at 18 years of age, she became her husband’s dental assistant. A bit of a self-taught renegade, she secretly practiced her craft on the teeth that he removed. After her husband died in 1864, she continued to practice dentistry in Connecticut and Rhode Island on her own. She settled in New Haven, Connecticut from 1876-1915. She also had two children: a son and daughter.  Balancing career and family, she blazed a trail for women in dentistry by her example.

Clara MacNaughton (Figure 4) received her dental degree in 1885 from the University of Michigan.  After becoming a widow in 1876, she decided to become a dentist to help support herself and her daughter.  By 1889, she was vice president of the Michigan State Dental Society.  In 1890 she became very active in the women’s suffrage movement, moved to Washington D.C., and fought for more than 30 years until the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920. She stood up for equal parenting rights and womens’ ability to own property separate from their husbands.  She also lobbied for women doctors to be able to staff women’s prisons, reform schools, and police stations.  She traveled extensively in her career and was involved in the international dental community. 

One of the most transformative women in dentistry was Dr. Vida Latham. She was both a woman physician and dentist (Figure 5). She received her dental degree in 1892 from the University of Michigan and her medical degree in 1895 from Northwestern University. She specialized in microscopy and research. She supported women in dentistry by teaching, mentoring and founding organizations that furthered women in these fields. She did not let gender bias stop her. Dr. Latham was the vice chairman of the women’s committee at the 1893 World’s Columbian Dental Congress in Chicago, and a member of the Dental Women’s Club of Chicago. In 1921, she was a founding member of the Federation of Women’s Dentists, known today as the American Association of Woman Dentists, AAWD.

 

The History of Women in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

In 1958, almost 100 years after Dr. Jones’ practice of dentistry was established, Elaine Alice Stuebner (Figure 6) graduated as the first female OMS from the Cook County Hospital oral surgery residency program.  On October 1, 1960, she became an American Society of Oral Surgeons (now known as American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS)) member.  She is also the first woman certified as a diplomate to the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS).

Dr. Stuebner’s career in surgery was full of leadership roles in our profession. After attending dental school at the University of Chicago, she served a one year internship at the University of Illinois research and education hospital, then the following year as a resident in the department of Anesthesiology.  In 1957 she became an oral and maxillofacial surgery resident at Cook County Hospital training program.

After completing residency, she became full time faculty at University of Illinois College of dentistry and trained both dental students and residents in both surgery and anesthesia.  She was appointed professor in the department of Oral Diagnosis.

Dr. Stuebner was very active in the dental profession.  She was the second vice president of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology.  She was president of Upsilon Alpha.  She was a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Society and fellowship in the American College of Dentists.  She also was elected as a distinguished practitioner of the National Academies of Practice.  Dr. Stuebner passed away on June 28, 2007.  Her obituary read as follows: (Figure 7). No one can argue that Dr. Stuebner not only broke the glass ceiling, but she gave back to the profession through lifelong learning, mentoring and leadership. It is in her honor that the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons has created a scholarship for women.

Change has been slow when it comes to increasing gender diversity in dentistry.  As of 2017, 31% of practicing dentists in the United States are women (out of  198,517 practicing dentists).  In the past twenty years the number of women in dentistry has almost tripled, rising from 11% to 31%, and, the number of female dental students in 2014 was 10,738, compared to 12,038 males.(1)  Thus, gender differences are approaching parity in graduation rates from dental schools. 

The same ratio of gender equality is not present in our oral and maxillofacial surgery residency programs.  Less than 12% of the total OMS trainees in the United States are women.  Although sixty years have passed since Dr. Stuebner became an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, the number of women in our specialty has been increasing very slowly. Women account for only than 8% of our specialty membership at AAOMS and 10 % at the ACOMS.

Why is there such a disparity in numbers? There are many questions that need to be answered.  Questions such as: What role does gender play in the selection of  residency candidates?  What role does gender play in the selection of candidates for academic appointments?  What role does gender play in the assignment of committee appointments in our professional organizations?  What role does gender play in the selection of leaders? Where is the mentorship for our women candidates coming from?   Answers to these questions and many more related to life, family and job satisfaction, may provide us with logical explanations for the low numbers of women entering our specialty today. 

 

The Present- Today’s Leadership Roles and the Women of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery:

The real heroines and heroes of our profession are the ones that, regardless of where they work, institution or office, continue to find the time to give back to their families, friends, and our profession.  This is leadership at its essence. They have achieved a balanced life by understanding that as their needs change they must adjust to the situation to achieve job satisfaction and life balance. Forming a support network of colleagues, including both women and men, to allow them to grow as surgeons in a very competitive and often obstructive environment, is sincerely needed.  Imagine how rapidly the number of women leaders would rise if every male leader mentored and developed leadership skills for at least one woman in oral surgery?

As of today, there have been over 50 women since 1960 that have served on various committees in the AAOMS.  While most have had single committee appointments many have had multiple appointments. Observation of the current AAOMS directory of officers, trustees and committees and related organizations, reveals that there are now many women in our AAOMS membership as committee members, and a few are even chairs.  Currently, there has not been a single woman on the board of trustees of AAOMS, or as an officer in the organization. With the undeniable maturity of the senior women practicing and involved in organized oral surgery, isn’t it time that a woman became the leader in our specialty?  

That time is now, the ceiling has been broken, and I am so proud to take the helm of the ACOMS.  

Transparency as to the selection and review process to ensure fair, equitable identification of potential candidates at the state society boards, the House of Delegates  AAOMS board, and ABOMS including support, mentoring and guidance are needed to further develop diversity in our specialty.

 

The AAOMS as an advocate for women in OMS

The women in our specialty have made strong efforts to truly give back and be included.  As of 2017 there are a total of 10,063 active and retired members including 1196 residents. There are at least four committees and clinical interest groups (CIG) that have a woman as chair.  These chair positions allow members to collaborate and lead by developing guidelines and policy for our profession in the various areas of interest.  There is at least one woman surgeon sitting on each committee. This is an amazing opportunity to truly make a difference in the profession.  Elaine Stuebner was the first as the past chair of the committee on anesthesia. The AAOMS leadership realized that the need to support their female membership lead to the development of the first Special Interest Group for women. At AAOMS’ centennial meeting this year, the SIG for Women will present its first didactic offering of the national meeting as well as hold its business meeting. As the first Chair of the AAOMS WOMEN SIG, I encourage you all to attend our session on Thursday October 11th at 8 am, 2018.

 

Women in the House of Delegates at AAOMS

The history of the AAOMS House of Delegates has seen many women in the governance over the last 27 years. There were no women in the House of Delegates (HOD) before 1988. In its history, the HOD has admitted 23 women delegates, the first one, Dr. Cynthia Winne, was admitted in 1988. She continues to serve to this day. The House is where policy is made and guidelines for practice approved. It is the place where advocacy for our colleagues takes place. These colleagues serve a very special role in our profession. I thank them for their service.

 

State Societies and Women of Oral Surgery

Women OMS have been presidents of state OMS societies such as Dr. Claudia Kaplan of NYSSOMS in 2001. Other states that have had women in position of President of their state society are New Hampshire and Washington. The states of Maine, South Carolina, and Montana, as well as Washington DC, have had women in position of secretary/ treasurer. These women may eventually become state society presidents as they ascended up the ladder.

The leadership at the AAOMS level is not the only area where women in oral and maxillofacial surgery have been active.  For example, Dr. Suzanne Stucki-McCormick was president of the California Dental Society as well as past Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Loma Linda University. In 2014, she recently published a book on Ethical Decision Making in Dentistry. Dr. Felice O’Ryan is the Co-founding editor of Selected Readings in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Janice Lee is now Deputy Clinical Director at the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Women in OMS continue to be challenged and take on leadership roles in other organizations as well. There are certainly many ways to contribute and lead.

 

Women in Oral and Maxillofacial Education

Education has been a prime area of interest for many women to step up and become mentors and leaders.  It has been very difficult to find statistics related to the history of women in academic oral and maxillofacial surgery. One of the most revealing papers, written last year by Dr. Laskin, called attention to the lack of women in academic teaching positions, despite the fact that there are almost 50% women enrolled in Dental School (ref. 2). He asserts that a woman’s desire “to raise a family” as the reason why women do not want to be academicians.  He called out for the universities to provide a support system for part time work and child care so that women will not be burdened with making a choice between family and career.  Raising a family is not a gender specific choice today.  Both men and women can work together to make their lifestyle compatible with their familial goals to live a balanced life.  Women that want to become surgeons will have the sense to balance their life, no matter which path they choose, private or academic.

The rigor of running a corporation in private practice absolutely creates a challenging environment when it comes to balancing work and life. The academic arena does not have a monopoly on commitment to work. While private practice may be economically tougher due to production requirements today, as academic oral surgeons are employed by corporate America, they are also finding that they have to generate a greater percentage of their salaries (as is done in private practice), teach, and complete research if they want to remain successful. Thus, in whichever arena one practices, the same challenge arises.  The playing field of obtaining financial security is becoming similar, regardless of gender or practice area.  Certainly a supportive family is helpful in academic or private practice arenas.  

The many women that are currently in academic institutions should be recognized and commended. These are some of the most prominent and productive women in our specialty today. There are four women that currently serve as chairs for their institutions’ oral and maxillofacial surgery departments.  Several women have become program directors, one Dean of students, an assistant Dean, several department chiefs and many full time academicians. To-date only three women have completed the rigorous post-surgical training program in head and neck surgery after their oral and maxillofacial residencies. One has become a program director, one a program and department Chair and the third is full time faculty.  There are at least three women that chair fellowships in craniofacial surgery. No small accomplishment.

 

The ACOMS

The American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (ACOMS) primary focus is on providing continuing education programs to our specialty and promoting fellowship among the specialty.  The ACOMS is 2655 members strong. Of those 250 are women. Just shy of 10%. Of the 250 women, 152 of them are residents.  This follows the current trend of more women coming into our specialty. Our organization has taken the lead creating a path to leadership for the many women in our organization.   I am honored to be serving as the first female to become President of ACOMS.  Several women have served on the Board of Regents in its history.  All committees of our ACOMS have women seated at the table.  In addition to these actions, the ACOMS is making an effort to invite diverse speakers for its many meetings throughout the year.

The Stuebner Scholarship was also developed by the ACOMS to promote lifelong learning and give the ability for a board eligible or certified female surgeon to attend an ACOMS meeting then become involved in the organization by serving on one of the committees, including developing the scholarship further. This is a special opportunity to become a mentee and then pass it on as a mentor.  I encourage all women of our specialty to get involved by competing for the scholarship or donating to support it.

 

The Women of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

It is a privilege to serve as an examiner for the ABOMS. Women examiners are few. The first women to serve in the 1980s were Drs. Felice O’Ryan and Carol Lorente. They are both true trailblazers and heroines. (Information provided by ABOMS staff historians). They opened the door for subsequent women examiners to follow. Twenty years later in 2008, there were only 10 women on the examination committee.  ABOMS had four sections for examination purposes at that time. Currently there are three sections.  Women were affectionately known as “Section V.”  One of the women on the examination committee, Dr. Mary Delsol of California, had become the first woman director of the ABOMS.  For the women on the 2008 ABOMS exam committee, this was a hallmark event in our history.

Dr. Delsol led with an iron fist.  Her leadership was fierce and fair.  She set a great example on how to level the playing field for us all.  She told the women on the ABOMS exam committee to just do a great job --  gender should not matter.  Dr. Delsol continued to move up the ranks within the ABOMS, becoming the first woman president of ABOMS in 2012.  Despite breaking that glass ceiling, there are currently few women on the exam committee -- only 9 out of 78 examiners in 2018-19.   Although many qualified women have applied to become examiners, few women have been added to the exam committee to reach parity.  Women surgeons should be encouraged to apply to participate in this amazing organization.  It is an opportunity to give back in a way that will also create invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities and friendships to last throughout their careers.

 

The Future

The future recruitment and retention of women as surgeons in the specialty depends upon learning from the past. There have been several articles written in JOMS on the subject of women in oral surgery (ref. 2-11).  Interestingly, these articles provide insight to the steady but slow increase of women entering our specialty over time.  Primarily, the articles are editorials and surveys regarding why there are so few women in oral surgery and the articles call for increased numbers through mentoring.  While almost half of the student body entering dental school today are women, only a handful still are applying to train as oral and maxillofacial surgeons.  According to the published papers, many women are discouraged by their dental school faculty, by the negative attitudes noted of the people they will eventually have to work with.  Thus, they are not being motivated or mentored, as called for by the articles.

Lifestyle choices are significant factors in determining career choice.  However, this is not gender specific. Dr. Lew’s special edition of the Historical Overview of the AAOMS, published in 2013 speaks of a younger generation of surgeons “wanting a more balanced lifestyle looking for more free time and control of their schedules” (ref. 11). A support system at the pre-doctoral level can help potential new surgeons identify ways to achieve the balance sought. Women leaders in OMS at the dental school level are essential for the growth of women in our specialty.  Now that increasing numbers of female surgeons are “coming of age,” both young female and male students and residents will have more access to training by experienced women surgeons. There are also more women surgeons available to fill leadership positions within organized dentistry, especially AAOMS, ABOMS, ICOMS, ACOMS and the ADA.

The personal economic impact from becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon influences whether a person will join the specialty. The cost of attending college, dental school and sometimes medical school can leave these young adults with an enormous debt burden. It can take over 20 years to pay off loans for tuition, books, lab, fees, and room and board. Career choice, regardless of gender, is often influenced by an economically driven decision. One idea may be to consider development of a shorter tract toward practice with an oral and maxillofacial surgery education incorporating the needed didactic and clinical work into a more acceptable time line. Perhaps development of a national oral and maxillofacial surgery curriculum along with needed exposure to necessary clinical milestones with outcome assessments can make oral surgery more streamline and appealing to more young dental students may be necessary.

Findings in support of these points were demonstrated by the survey of the AAOMS membership that was conducted in 1996 to practicing 107 female surgeons and to 105 female resident in training programs and a small group of 15 women in dental school.(ref 3)  At that time, less than 3% of the surgeons in the field were women. The survey focused on what attracted women to the field, their attitudes toward various aspects of the specialty, their current practice pattern and any biases they have encountered. Considering the small number of participants, there was still a strong message: “women already within this specialty should serve as role models by offering mentorship to those in training, encourage students to consider the specialty, and be becoming more involved it their professional organizations.” However, the most revealing part of this survey was the opinion of the dental students. Length of residency, cost of residency, life style choices, discrimination, and lack of mentoring were a deterrent to becoming oral surgeons. 

Logically, if lifestyle and economics are driving the choices of both men and women to become oral surgeons, then it would seem that there should be no difference in the way men and women should practice. In 1999 a survey was done to differentiate practice differences between 264 male and 130 female surgeons (ref 4). At this time only 2.4 % of oral surgeons were women. The survey found that male surgeons were older compared to their female colleagues. Only a handful of women were practicing more than 20 years.  There was more racial diversity among women surgeons. Further, there was an evident gender disparity in income. The income disparity might be explained by seniority, the women in this study were younger and less experienced, and thus were not commanding the salaries of a more seasoned surgeon. The article stated a variety of reasons, including that women saw fewer patients per week because they may spend more time with each patient. Again, this result was most likely due to the relative inexperience of the female surgeons; however, the article inappropriately alluded to “practice style” as the cause of the income disparity. Most importantly, the article stated that “women have a limited group of senior mentors to encourage their academic and professional development, with associated hindrance to ‘network up.’”  The article also stated that “women also must strive to maintain an active voice in organized dentistry to facilitate these goals.“ Women must be proactive in determining their professional destiny by networking and being visible to the community.

In 2010 a follow up was done to the 1996 study by Laskin and Risser. (ref  7) Only 281 of the total number of AAOMS members at this time were women.  Since the first survey, more women were going into partnerships, more were board certified, more taught part-time, and more women had obtained double degrees.  However, gender bias and sexual harassment Issues still remained between the two surveys.  The article stated “there is a need for more role models to help correct this gender bias.”  The article noted that female practitioners should be looking to mentor female dental students and residents.  The authors concluded that “success is not a function of gender but a reflection of sheer determination and perseverance." Consequently, to persevere, a “woman required a thick skin to sustain the indignity of gender bias and sexual harassment”. No woman or man should need to sustain the indignities of gender bias or sexual harassment. Regardless of the skin thickness, this is unacceptable and against the law. Period.  

Finding a fellow woman surgeon to mentor may not eliminate gender bias or sexual harassment. The attitudes of the profession of dentistry as a whole and specifically oral surgery to accepting diversity must change for progress to occur. Using language such as “female surgeon” instead of “surgeon” will continue to remind us of stereotypes that undermine respect.  Making the profession aware of gender bias is the first step, next we have to explicitly disapprove of this imbalance and bias to try to improve it.  If only one demographic group influences the development of our specialty, only their values will be reflected. Diversity is critical for an organization to be successful.  Moving into the future, we as a specialty need to challenge gender bias, racial bias, stereotypes and traditional views.

Perhaps the most revealing study exposing gender bias done in the recent years was this one by Drs. Rostami and Laskin in 2014 (ref. 10). The purpose of this study was to investigate the male OMS practitioner, program director, and resident’s perception of women in residency programs, or as practice associates. The study asked questions regarding women’s physical and emotional strength, speed in the work environment, hours of work, organizational and managerial skills, whether women tire more easily than men, and patient acceptance of women as their surgeons.  He found in general that there appeared to be more negativity (gender bias) toward women shown by the male residents. Program directors responses were positive, although only a few had answered the questionnaire. Practicing male surgeons’ comments were generally positive, although there were a small percentage that still believed women as surgeons were weaker and tire more easily, are more emotional, wanted to work less, and patients were less accepting of them as their doctor.

If the male residents of today adopt this attitude of bias toward their fellow female residents and female attending surgeons, they cannot possibly collaborate and be successful as team members. There is no respect.  The program directors, chairs, and fellow residents must take notice of this blatant exhibit of bias and put an end to it.  Our future as a specialty depends upon it.  If a female dental student is exposed to these gender biased residents, they would certainly perceive this bias, which would discourage them from becoming oral surgeons or referring patients to our specialty.  Unless perceptions change, and respect found, there will always be a strong reason why some women will not consider oral surgery as a career. 

According to the American Medical Association, only 19% of all surgeons in the United States are women.  Of those, less than 20 % are specialists.  Comparing that to oral surgery, at the time of writing this paper there are 8,393 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the AAOMS, of which females are only  8% of the total membership.  According to AAOMS there are an additional 15% female residents registered as OMS.  Specifically, there are a total of 1,253 residents registered to AAOMS.  If 15% of the 1253 residents are female, that makes 168 female residents.  Including the residents in the totals, there are less than 700 women out of 9546 total members, or about 8% female surgeons in the total membership.  This is similar to the percentage of women practicing as neurosurgeons, as well as orthopedic surgeons, in the US.  Compared to our medical colleagues, the number of women entering general surgery has climbed steadily.  Female general surgeons are now greater than 35% of the American trainees.  Why did these numbers increase? The American College of Surgeons improved their mentoring and led to the development of a women surgeon group within the organization.  It allowed the women of their group to organize and reach out to other women by networking, encouraging women to become surgeons, gave them a place to promote fellowship and encouragement, and allowed them to develop leaders.  

We as a specialty have not made much progress in recruiting a diverse membership. But, we are getting better.  Perhaps it is a matter of mentoring and finding senior surgeons and leaders that young women can identify with.   General surgery is similar to Oral and Maxillofacial surgery in this fact: very few women have moved into leadership roles.  Promotion comes from participation.  Unless women of our specialty get involved in our organizations, their local communities, societies, and hospitals, then leadership roles cannot be expected.  The women surgeons of the future need to be proactive, become mentors, teachers, and advocates for themselves and our specialty.  However, when they do, they need to be recognized and given a fair chance to lead. 

Conclusion

Diversity. Understanding. Respect. Collaboration. Parity .

The leadership experience among the senior women oral surgeons of our society is increasing and cannot be denied.  There is an impressive list of contributions by women OMS to our specialty.  Kudos to all surgeons both women and men that have given back! 

Despite the small numbers of women in our specialty in the United States, women have accepted the charge of becoming more involved at many levels in our local and national specialty organizations and academic institutions.  Whether on the home front or in the hospital, women have lived up to the many exciting and challenging professional leadership roles.  One can also conclude that there has been an effort by the women in our specialty to be part of the leadership.  There are many women surgeons that have leadership roles in their communities and hospitals.  There are far too many to list here, but all deserve respect, admiration and gratitude. It Is a start, but we have a long way to go.  Encourage you colleagues to become involved!

Practitioners’ perceptions and attitudes must to change for the profession to become more diverse, respectful and thus stronger.  Our expertise and success are not dependent upon gender.  It cannot be denied that we are all oral surgeons.   The trailblazers have created an amazing opportunity and platform for mentorship as well as support.  Many doors are opening now due to the recognition of ACOMS, AAOMS and the ACS to provide mentoring and a path to leadership for women.   More female oral surgeons are urged to step inside, get involved and join the ranks of giants that have led this specialty, however now, with a woman’s touch. 

 

References

  1. Kaiser Family Foundation, Professionally Active Dentists by Gender. State Health Facts. http://Kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-dentists-by gender/ accessed on 6-30-15.
  2.  Laskin D. The role of women in academic oral and maxillofacial surgery. JOMS 73:579, 215.
  3. Risser MJ, Laskin DM. Women in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: factors affecting career choices, attitudes, and practice characteristics. JOMS 54:753-757, 1996.
  4. Bogardus AJ, Neasw BR, and Sullivan SM. Practice Differences between male and female oral and maxillofacial surgeons: survey results and analysis. JOMS 57: 1239-1248, 1999.
  5. Horswell BB. Diminishing number of women in surgery. Letters to the editor JOMS 60:1095, 2002
  6. Assael LA. The diversity imperative: essential to a specialty’s success. Editorial JOMS 68: 1709-1710, 2010.
  7. Rostami F, Ahmed AE, Best AM, and Laskin EM. The changing personal and professional characteristics of women in oral and maxillofacial surgery. JOMs 68:381-385, 2010.
  8. Laskin DM. Closing the gender gap. Editorial JOMS 59: 127, 2001
  9. Rake PA. Combining professional goals and personal lives. Letter to the editor. JOMS 61: 409, 2003.
  10. Rostami F and Laskin D.  Male perception of women in oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  JOMS 72:2383-2385, 2014.
  11. Lew D. A historical overview of the AAOMS. AAOMS publication 2013

Figure Legend –Drew 2015

Figure 1. Dr. Rankin, a female dentist, ready to perform an extraction on a patient in 1909.

Figure 2.  Lucy Hobbs Taylor 1833-1910. The first American woman to graduate from dental school did so in the 1860s.  Photo from Kansas state historical society.

Figure 3.  Emeline Roberts Jones 1833-1910. . Photo courtesy of the New Haven Museum and Historical Society.

Figure 4. Clara MacNaughton 1855 University of Michigan.  She was very active for women’s suffrage and moved to Washington, DC to be involved on a National level. 

Figure 5. Vida Latham graduation photo 1892.  She was both a physician and dentist.  A founding member of the American Association of Women Dentist (AAWD).

Figure 6. Elaine Alice Stuebner became the first woman to graduate from an oral surgery training program in 1958.

Figure 7. Dr. Stuebner’s Obituary from 2007. “An example to be followed by young people”.

 

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