2022 WVS Trainee Traveling Scholarship Grid

Rachael Morris
rachael.morris@kcl.ac.uk
Cell: +447769169016
Junior Surgical Resident
Program Director/Chief Name: Professor Stephen Black
King’s College London, St Thomas’ Hospital
Academic Department of Vascular Surgery 1st Floor North Wing St Thomas’ Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road
London, United Kingdom SE1 7EH
United Kingdom
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I currently a research fellow in Vascular Surgery at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, completing a PhD at King’s College London supervised by Professor Stephen Black in the UK. My research is focused on outcomes after stenting of the inferior vena cava and iliofemoral veins, in particular, the effects on cardiac function and exercise tolerance before and after intervention. I am keen to attend the Women’s Vascular Summit to discuss future research and collaborations with like-minded clinicians from around the world. I have previously attended vascular meetings and found myself sometimes lacking in confidence to participate in discussion and approach senior clinicians in what can be an intimidating, male-dominated environment for a junior female trainee. I am often reliant on my supervisor to make introductions for me so would look forward to an opportunity to network independently with seniors in a supportive and collaborative environment such as the Women’s Vascular Summit.

Elyssa Dionne
elyssa.dionne@mountsinai.org
Cell: 9738868236
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Peter Faries
Yale School Of Medicine (but am presenting research from my work at Mount Sinai Hospital)
1468 Madison Ave
New York, New York 10029

Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I am just starting out my years as a medical student and was fortunate enough to be able to spend a year working with Dr. Windsor Ting and Dr. Ageliki Vouyouka in the Division of Vascular Surgery at Mount Sinai. This experience has exposed me to the wonders of vascular surgery in the operating room, the clinic, and in research, and has inspired me to pursue this path as a career. In my interactions with patients, I see such an eagerness to participate in studies, even with the knowledge that some studies might not provide any benefit to them currently. I think this is a testament to how important the research is. These patients have suffered through their illnesses and ailments, and they genuinely want to play a small part in helping people in the future suffer a little less. I have also worked with clinical trial vein stents for AAA patients, and watching these procedures in the operating room have been amazing. It is mind blowing how much precise and delicate work can be done endovascularly. This scholarship would be extremely beneficial for me. It would not only allow me to present my research at an esteemed vascular conference, but would also allow me to interact with the strong and intelligent women that contribute to the field of vascular surgery. In a male dominated environment, it is important that women come together, share experiences, provide advice, celebrate each other’s successes, and ultimately help each other grow. I think I would learn so much from these women and would be thrilled to have this chance through this scholarship.

Yifan Mao
yifanmao@mednet.ucla.edu
Cell: 5034709541
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: David Rigberg
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
10833 Le Conte Ave
Los Angeles, California 90095

Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

Within just the first two months of medical school, I was introduced to vascular surgery and greatly inspired by the incredible work and range of procedures performed by vascular surgeons. After hearing from Dr. David Rigberg and Dr. Karen Woo at our Intro to Vascular Surgery lunch talk, I was fascinated by the speciality and determined to expose myself to more opportunities in the field. In October, I had the opportunity to attend a Vascular Surgery Simulation Workshop, where I learned to sew a vascular anastomosis, use aortic endograft simulators, and perform intervention simulation activities. As a result of my strong interest in vascular surgery, I was recently appointed as a coordinator for DGSOM’s Vascular Surgery Interest Group to organize events for medical students to gain greater exposure to vascular surgery.
This Summit is an incredible opportunity to further explore and understand health disparities as I am particularly interested in gender and cultural differences in disease presentation, prevention, and treatment. By attending this conference, I hope to broaden my knowledge in vascular surgery and interact with esteemed vascular surgeons and other passionate medical students and residents. I am greatly enthusiastic about meeting physicians, especially women, in the field that I strongly hope to be part of one day. I relish the opportunity to participate in the program’s talks, receptions, and workshops, which will provide me with the tools necessary to forge productive professional relationships with pioneering vascular surgeons around the country. I have a strong desire to learn about cutting-edge research in vascular surgery through posters and oral presentations, to engage in interactive group discussions, and to gain resources and knowledge that I can bring back to DGSOM and share with my classmates as a coordinator for our Vascular Surgery Interest Group.

Kendall Clark
kendallclark@mednet.ucla.edu
Cell: 949-379-4999
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Daphne Calmes
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA/Charles Drew University
10833 Le Conte Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

As a first-generation medical student without a family in the healthcare field, I had few opportunities to explore surgical sub-specialties before entering medical school. Most of my medical experience was surrounded by volunteering in primary care settings. I didn’t even consider surgery specialties as an option for a future career until I was a first-year medical student and had the opportunity to scrub in to a c-section. I was surprised by my reaction of wonder and fascination, as I was expecting to feel uneasy or uncomfortable. I remember watching the physician’s technique closely as he skillfully delivered the women’s child. From then on, I found myself gravitating towards the aspects of medical school that allowed me to explore different surgical subspecialties. I joined a project team focused on creating a robotic surgery simulator for neurosurgery teaching purposes. I took anatomy electives to practice dissection and further understand the intricacies of the human body. I actively sought out a surgical preceptorship to gain further exposure and experience. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 restrictions, I have had limited opportunities to explore many of the surgical subspecialties I have been interested in, especially vascular surgery. I am interested in attending the Women’s Vascular Summit both to have the opportunity to learn more about a specialty I am very interested in and to be surrounded by a community of women who are also interested in surgery. So far, my exposure to surgery has been with primarily white male physicians, which has felt quite alienating as a black woman. While I am incredibly grateful for those experiences, it has remained difficult to control the fears of imposter syndrome. I am hopeful that this experience will allow me to learn more about vascular surgery in a supportive environment.

Sarah Sternbach
sternbac@usc.edu
Cell: 5185269549
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dean Carolyn Meltzer
University of Southern California
1975 Zonal Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

As an undergraduate, I became involved in vascular surgery research and was able to attend and present my research at the American Venous Forum. At this stage, I was just scratching the surface, beginning to understand the most prevalent themes and procedures in vascular surgery by combing through medical records and searching high and low for contrast dosages in imaging reports. I learned a lot about deep venous thrombosis and even more about the plethora of considerations made in deciding which intervention to pursue. Attending the meeting, though, was a greater learning experience. I watched medical students, residents, and attending physicians present their work and got to engage in the intellectual discourse that ensued. After years of hearing about medical conferences and the wining, dining, and destination trips that went along with them, I finally understood that surgical progress requires these forums for dissemination of new ideas and techniques. Now a medical student, I have come to appreciate that vascular surgery is both a highly specialized yet all-encompassing specialty. Because of the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, the effects of vascular surgery are wide reaching and impactful. I am attracted to the intricacy of the procedures, the acuity of the disease processes, and the relative novelty of the field and its cutting edge procedures. Being able to intervene in a variety of ways using new technologies keeps a career in vascular surgery dynamic, engaging, and dependent on my ability to problem solve. In addition to engaging my intellectual curiosity, vascular surgery demands thoughtful patient interaction and relationship building in order to plan interventions that find a middle ground between the needs and lifestyle of each individual and their unique disease presentation. I am currently doing cerebrovascular surgery research and spending the weekend at WVS learning would greatly enrich this experience.

Tara Zielke
tarazielke@gmail.com
Cell: 6083861810
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Carlos Bechara
Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
2160 S 1st Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I am confident that I will become a vascular surgeon, and I am looking forward to applying to vascular surgery residency programs this fall. Vascular surgery is unlike any other surgical specialty. When you diagnose a problem there are often multiple ways you can offer a patient to address that diagnosis. The conversation about which option is best for the patient is one I really enjoy. Ensuring their understanding, incorporating their goals, and optimizing their other comorbidities are all important pieces of this conversation. From diagnosis, preoperative decision making, intervention, postoperative care, lifelong surveillance, and sometimes reintervention every patient has a unique journey. I consider it an enormous privilege to take this journey with a vascular surgery patient. You are often treating a chronic life-altering disease process that allows you to build long-term relationships with immense trust. I am excited about the opportunity to provide truly comprehensive vascular care. I look forward to going to work every day because of my patients, but the interventions are also challenging and dynamic. Reflecting on my personality and strengths, I also believe that vascular surgery plays well to my strengths of working well under pressure, decisive, and determined.

I would be incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend the Women’s Vascular Health Summit. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and was the first person in my family to pursue higher education. I would not be where I am today without the strong mentors in my life. This summit would provide such inspiring discussion, new relationships, and answer my questions about life as a woman in vascular surgery. This summit would be a pivotal opportunity on my journey to become a strong female leader in vascular surgery.

Janice Nam
jnam@luc.edu
Cell: 2533944616
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Bernadette Aulivola
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
2160 S 1st Ave
Maywood, IL 60153
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

My interest in vascular surgery started M1 year when I joined an upperclassmen’s research, studying disparity among PAD patients. I was immediately drawn to the patient population and the longitudinal care that’s uniquely seen in vascular surgery. I was then introduced to my mentor, Dr. Bernadette Aulivola, who guided me as I started my own project studying thromboembolism in COVID-19 patients which shaped my desire to be an academic surgeon. After my vascular surgery and general surgery rotations, I fully committed in applying to integrated vascular surgery. I found myself being more interested and eager to learn about my vascular patients, their pathophysiology, and procedures. The high intensity of care, the intricacy of vascular surgery, and mentorship experiences have fostered my passion to become a vascular surgeon. Being the first in my family to enter medicine, I never knew the inspiration mentors can give to their mentees. Through the conference, I hope to build additional mentorships, be inspired by innovative projects, and meet future colleagues. Importantly, as I will be applying in the 2022-2023 cycle for integrated vascular surgery residency, I hope to meet program directors/residents to learn more about their programs and be inspired by all the amazing women in surgery who I can look up to as I continue my academic and surgical training. I believe attending the WVS will help me build relationships, inspiration, and new opportunities.

Tabea Hoffstaetter
thoffstaet@northwell.edu
Cell: 6073425801
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Yana Etkin, MD
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
500 Hofstra Blvd
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I knew that I wanted to become a Vascular Surgeon after an elective in my third year of Medical School. I followed patients with peripheral artery disease who underwent miraculous revascularization procedures or suffered the devastating loss of a limb. I was amazed by delicate carotid artery endarterectomies and arteriovenous fistula creations, and the ingenuity of thoracic endovascular aortic repairs and transcarotid artery revascularizations. And I appreciated the trusting long-term relationships surgeons established with their patients. In order to deepen my understanding of the field, I am taking a research year before entering my fourth year of medical school. This past year I worked on multiple research projects with my amazing mentor Dr. Etkin at Northwell Health. Of note, I will be presenting our work regarding gender disparities in arteriovenous fistula maturation outcomes at the Women’s Vascular Summit. I can’t wait to learn more about how patient sex and gender impacts vascular disease presentation, intervention, and outcomes, and to connect with inspiring surgeons during this event. It would be a great privilege to receive a travel scholarship to offset the cost of attending the conference.

Akshara Sree Challa
akshara.challa@med.miami.edu
Cell: 5104397074
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Arash Bornak
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
1600 NW 10th Ave
Miami, FL 33136
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

My aim is to become a vascular surgeon dedicated to the service of underprivileged populations. I am drawn to the practice of VS not just because of the sheer breadth of procedures that can be performed and the relationships that can be forged with patients on a long-term basis but also the opportunity to be a life-long learner and innovator in the field. Although VS is highly specialized, this field’s scope for research and novelty is unmatched by any other. Attending the 2022 Womens’ Vascular Health Summit would help enrich my own medical experiences and allow me to develop invaluable, lasting connections with leading educators in the field. Through WVS, I eagerly look forward to the chance to disseminate knowledge about the research I am actively involved in and be surrounded by top-notch scientists and surgeons spearheading the latest therapies in VS. It would truly be an honor to explore our shared interests during the specialty fair and attain constructive guidance throughout the meetings. Being fortunate enough to receive the Trainee Travel Scholarship to attend 2022 Womens’ Vascular Health Summit would make a tremendous difference in my life as I pursue my passion to heal and generate a direct, innovative impact on those experiencing the greatest medical need.

Saranya Sundaram
saranyassundaram@gmail.com
Cell: 6167196400
Junior Surgical Resident
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Ravikumar Veeraswamy (PD/chief)
Medical University of South Carolina
MUSC Vascular Surgery
30 Courtenay Dr. Ste 654
Charleston, SC 29425
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? YES
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I attended this conference virtually this past year and thought it was a fantastic professional and academic event. I’ve always been interested in how social determinants such as gender affects the way vascular disease presents. One of my literature review projects as a medical student was on the differences in which peripheral artery disease affects and appears in female patients versus their male counterparts, and how grossly understudied this population is in our profession. My research is what lead me to learn about the conference at first. Now that I am a vascular surgery resident, I would love to delve more into this topic but have not yet acquainted myself with those in this field who understand and have studied these issues to a deeper level. I would take this opportunity to acquaint myself with not only those interested in this topic but other women who treat vascular disease on a day-to-day basis. I would appreciate having input on how to better formulate a research project in this area and also the professional connection this could offer me as a trainee interested in research in gender differences in peripheral artery disease. With this scholarship, I would be able to attend the conference in person which would offer me considerable benefits in both of these respects. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Andrea McSweeney
ajm053@jefferson.edu
Cell: 7815409877
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Paul DiMuzio
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
111 S 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I became interested in vascular surgery as a first-year medical student and my interest has grown ever since. I am passionate about the patient population, fascinated by vascular disease, and inspired by the many areas for growth and development of new technology in the field. After graduating from medical school this May, I will start an integrated vascular surgery residency at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ. I am interested in attending this conference because I would like to learn as much as I can about vascular surgery and vascular disease prior to starting residency. I recognize that there are a variety of illness that present differently in women than they do in men. By attending this conference, I will gain an in depth understanding of how vascular disease presents in women, which will enable me to provide the best care possible for my future patients. Additionally, attending the Women’s Vascular Summit would be a great opportunity to learn from accomplished female vascular surgeons and network with potential mentors. I also hope to meet and network with trainees at my level of training. The topics listed in the conference agenda are especially important and relevant to the challenges that may occur during vascular surgery training, and I hope that by listening to these talks I will be able to navigate vascular surgery training smoothly. I am excited to learn about the opportunities for women in vascular surgery and I look forward to this event.

Moira McGevna
mam1033@rwjms.rutgers.edu
Cell: 908-839-0134
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. William Beckerman
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I have been involved in vascular surgery throughout my first year of medical school and I am very passionate about pursuing/learning more about this speciality. Hearing about the intensity of the vascular residency program and attending hours have sometimes made it difficult to imagine the possibility of having a family. Therefore, I want to attend this conference to meet women with a variety of backgrounds to gain insight on how they were able to maintain a work life balance. It would be humbling to hear that it is possible (with hard work, of course) to be able to have both the career and family of our dreams. Additionally, being a member of the RWJMS VSIG eboard, networking and having these women speak to our students to share that same advice is one of the many goals of our group. Lastly, with still a male dominated field, it would be inspiring to be surrounded by strong women that could give insight on how they are able to stay confident with their medical decisions when they may have been the only female surgeon in the room.

Noash M. Julia Rios
noashjulia.90@gmail.com
Cell: 7874265541
Junior Surgical Resident
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr Jorge Martínez Trabal
Hospital Episcopal San Lucas
917 Av. Tito Castro
Ponce, Puerto Rico 00733
Puerto Rico
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

There’s a misunderstanding about vascular surgery in the United States and yes, that includes Puerto Rico. At the Caribbean there’s a 3 million population island with only 15 vascular specialists when according to a study in 2020 there should be 1.4 vascular surgeon per 100,000 population. That means that in our island the main vascular pathologies are being treated by primary physicians who after the results of my research they do not feel confident treating vascular pathologies. I developed a study in which more than 60% of primary physicians feel they had inadequate training in vascular surgery during their training. Currently I’m a 2nd year resident at Saint Luke’s Hospital, here we have the only acute vascular surgery center of the island. Since my first year I’ve always seen vascular pathologies and how they affect people’s life as well their families. Commonly a nonhealing amputation site gets infected simply because the main pathology was not resolved: the vascular pathology. I’ve decided that I want to become a vascular surgeon; and not any vascular surgeon but the first female vascular surgeon in Puerto Rico. I’ve come a long way since high school as the first female international medical graduate being accepted in the residency and I have a duty with professional women, especially surgeons. As the resident in charge of the public relationships of the general surgery program I feel I have a duty of encouraging younger generations to become physicians develop new research. If I have the honor to receive this grant I will not only meet leaders in vascular surgery but I will as well be a step closer to change not only patient’s lives but young female physician lives.

Ayesha Tasneem
ayesha.tasneem@ucalgary.ca
Cell: 6475759421
Junior Surgical Resident
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr Kenton Rommens
University of Calgary
3500 26 Avenue NE
Calgary, Alberta T1Y6J4
Canada
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

I am a first year vascular surgery resident in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I graduated from medical school from the University of Toronto. I am interested in attending the Women’s Vascular Summit for the first time as I am interested in pursuing fellowship in the US in the future and this will be an invaluable opportunity for me to network, establish connections early in my career, and learn about opportunities. I am also particularly interested in attending this summit as a first-generation, visible minority Muslim woman in surgery, to learn about how other women have forged a path in vascular surgery for themselves, managed to balance training and a personal life, and to learn from those who have done this before me. This is even more pertinent as I do not have a female staff surgeon in my training program to look up to. For this reason, I think this summit will provide me an opportunity to find female mentors in vascular surgery. I understand the crucial need for mentors as it was through encouragement and support from mentors in medical school that enabled me to overcome challenges and persist in my path to vascular surgery. Thirdly, I am also interested in attending this summit due to my interest in leadership and advocacy. In medical school, I served as the Vice President Communications for our student government, and served on the Association of women surgeons communications committee. In my residency program, I serve as the surgical foundations committee resident representative. I am interested in learning about similar opportunities within vascular surgery. Lastly, being on a resident on a limited stipend, this scholarship will be instrumental in enabling me to attend this summit.

Courtney Hanak
chanak@uthsc.edu
Cell: 4404761662
Fellow
Program Director/Chief Name: Edward H Garrett Jr/ Erica Mitchell
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
910 Madison Avenue
Suite 314
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
United States
Completed surgical Residency? YES
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

My name is Courtney Hanak and I am a first year vascular fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. From my intern year in general surgery training I knew vascular surgery was my calling. I was drawn to the field because of the complexity of vascular patients, the long term patient follow-up, as well as the challenges of treating vascular disease. During my first year of fellowship it has become evident to me that one of the greatest challenges in our field is the treatment of vascular disease in female patients especially with evolving endovascular techniques. There is a need for further guidelines, industry evolution, and practitioner awareness within the field of vascular surgery when approaching these patients. As a young female vascular surgeon, I am excited and motivated to be a part of this process through research and patient care. I would be honored to attend this conference to further my knowledge and also meet other surgeons who are passionate about closing the disparity gap when treating female vascular disease. Thank you for the consideration of my application.

Patricia Mulero-Soto
pmuleromd@gmail.com
Cell: 7872333424
Junior Surgical Resident
Program Director/Chief Name: Jorge Martinez-Trabal
St Lukes Medical center
917 ave tito castro
Ponce, PR 00730
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? NO

I am a second-year general surgery resident at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Medical Center, one of two ACGME accredited general surgery residencies in Puerto Rico. At our institution, an acute center for identifying and treating patients with imminent threats due to vascular pathologies was created. Due to the vast amount of patient that are referred to our center, my interest in vascular surgery has grown exponentially. After witnessing how prompt treatment of vascular emergencies can drastically improve patient outcomes and their quality of life, I have decided to pursue vascular surgery as part of my continuing medical education. Participating in this year’s annual meeting will expand my knowledge about the latest research in the field.

ALEXANDRA MARRONE
marro076@umn.edu
Cell: 7165176664
Junior Surgical Resident
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr. Valentine, Dr. Reed
University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street SE
Mayo Mail Code 195
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

As an integrated vascular surgery intern, I am just starting out and beginning to explore what parts of vascular I am most passionate about, but so far I continue to love peripheral arterial disease and its management. That said, I haven’t found my research niche within vascular surgery yet, and while I don’t think I need to limit myself to one area right now, I have done research on gender disparities in authorship in pediatric surgery. I would certainly be interested in getting involved in gender disparities work in vascular, and I think this conference would be an excellent place to immerse myself in the current knowledge that we have of gender disparities in working as a vascular surgeon, and even more so in current knowledge of vascular disease in women.
This area is so important, as women make up at least 50% of the population, and yet somehow our symptoms for acute coronary syndrome are still labeled as “atypical,” and our anatomy “hostile” for certain vascular devices. I remember on the interview trail hearing an excellent grand rounds given by a fellow about aortic disease in women and how we should shift our thinking to “hostile devices” not, “hostile anatomy,” which I hadn’t thought about in that way before. I think that this conference will provide more of those “aha” moments that will help me better treat female patients. I am also hopeful that I may be able to find a clinical area that I could explore gender disparities in so that I could help fuel future “aha” moments for other surgeons.

Annie Cherner
afcherner@gmail.com
Cell: 2813006945
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Christine Shokrzadeh, MD
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77555-1317
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

Vascular surgery appeals to me because it offers the best of both worlds: cutting edge open surgical and endovascular procedures and the ability to treat patients with chronic disease throughout their lives. I look forward to learning from leaders in the field at the Women’s Vascular Health Summit.

Before I could even understand the complex anatomy and vasculature of the human body, I witnessed the paramount influence vascular surgeons have on improving an individual’s quality of life.

Throughout elementary school, I remember sitting with my grandfather at the dialysis center where he received dialysis three times a week. Although I did not fully understand what was happening, I knew his body was failing, and he could not survive without the machine. My grandmother would make jokes and blame ‘tortillas y frijoles’ for causing my grandfather’s health issues.

With the knowledge I have today, I comprehend how years of uncontrolled diabetes destroyed my grandfather’s system. He went through dialysis with multiple AV fistulas which significantly improved his dialysis experience. I am also able to understand that environment, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status play a huge role in an individual’s vascular health. This is a huge reason why I want to attend a conference that specifically focuses on working towards reducing the discrepancies in surgical outcomes and vascular health of women.

While cultural factors are only part of the problem, research shows that certain groups are more prone to poor vascular health. While attending the summit, I plan to connect with individuals who have similar research interests such as hemodialysis access and management, disparities in surgical outcomes, and limb ischemia/trauma. Overall, I hope to engage with and learn from other women in vascular surgery as I prepare to apply for an integrated vascular surgery residency position in the next few months.

Snehal Bindra
snehal.bindra@vanderbilt.edu
Cell: 8132403939
Medical Student
Program Director/Chief Name: Dr Amy Fleming
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
1161 21st Ave S # D3300
Nashville, TN 37232
United States
Completed surgical Residency? NO
Have you attended WVS meeting previously? NO
Have you registered for the WVS Annual meeting? YES

My journey into medicine in undergrad began under the mentorship of vascular surgeon, Dr Sam Ahn.
In undergrad, I shadowed him in the vascular clinics of LA and Dallas, interacting with patients suffering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome — a contentious disease in terms of diagnosis and treatment. Although open surgery is regarded as standard treatment, it is known to cause complications. I conducted a retrospective chart analysis that revealed that PTA eliminated the need for open surgery in 64% of patients, thereby concluding that the standard treatment should include PTA. I was overjoyed at the acceptance of the abstract at the 2019 VEITH Symposium.
At the conference, most of the surgeons were dismissive of our method and preferred open surgery. Here, I was thinking we were revolutionizing the standard of care in the vascular world but were in fact just a minority. However, Dr. Ahn left me with valuable advice: “To create change requires patience and persistence; When I first started doing endovascular surgery, people thought I was crazy, but now it is the standard of care. Later, everyone thought outpatient endovascular was crazy and now it is becoming the standard of care. We still have more work to do; life is an uphill battle and you have to learn to adapt.”
It was at this very conference that I decided I do not want to simply practice medicine but be an agent of change in the field.
Upon my return, I worked as the first student-Research Coordinator and helped build California Vascular Research Foundation with the aim to empower students to conduct cutting-edge vascular research and create a strong community of students and medical professionals.
As a woman of color, I hope to connect with women surgeons to be able to collaborate and create change in the near future.