According to Resurge data, there are, on average, only three female surgeons for every one million people in low-income countries like Nepal and India. With its Pioneering Women In Reconstructive Surgery initiative, SkinCeuticals is making it its mission to correct this imbalance.
Through visiting educator programs, leadership training, support and funding of supplies, the initiative helps female surgeons in developing countries both expand their knowledge and encourage other women to pursue reconstructive surgery – one of the more difficult specialities – as a career path.
marie claire US was lucky enough to see the initiative in action in Nepal, where two of the six female surgeons in the program’s inaugural class work. “The more women there are in surgery, the more women we can help,” one surgeon, Dr Farzana Bilquis Ibrahim, tells marie claire. She gives the example of one woman who let a breast cancer grow to advanced stage because she was too ashamed to show it to a male doctor. “At the time, there were scarcely any female surgeons for her to go to,” Dr Ibrahim explains.
SkinCeuticals have been at the forefront of scientific development since the company was founded in 1997, and they’ve been championing women since day one. For Pioneering Women In Reconstructive Surgery, they’ve enlisted Dr James Chang, consulting medical officer for Resurge International and Stanford University chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, to oversee their work.
“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,” Dr Chang says. “It was a similar story in the US one generation ago – now more than half of my medical students are women and of my 18 faculty at Stanford University, eight are women.”
“It is an issue critical to me as a father of three daughters,” he adds. “We would like to mentor and empower these pioneering women surgeons for future generations.”