Dr. Jenny Shao joined SAGES as a candidate member when she was a 3rd year resident applying for an MIS fellowship. She remembers submitting her first abstract in 2018 in Seattle and her impressions of the meeting as “friendly and supportive. I loved how everyone was not afraid to be themselves and built connections outside of rank, institution, and other superficial metrics. It’s the conference I look forward to most every year.”
As a full-time member now, SAGES is the group Dr. Shao feels most connected to in terms of mission, clinical content, and people, drawn most to its spirit of innovation and focus on evidence-based medicine and changing preconceived notions of surgery. She adds, “I feel that SAGES is at the forefront of both surgical technique and surgical culture change.”
Dr. Shao has served on several SAGES committees, most currently on Communications, Conflict of Interest, and Diversity, Leadership, and Professional Development (DLPD) Committees. Through the support of the DLPD committee and SAGES leadership, she was able to apply and obtain an ACS Grant funding her Fundamentals of Leadership Development (FLD) work.
FLD is an interactive, problem-solving, leadership curriculum for surgeons looking to develop leadership skills centered around increasing the pipeline of diversity in surgical leadership, creating opportunities for healthcare equity, and DEI conflict resolution and negotiation at their institutions/organizations. The curriculum earns leaders a Fundamentals of Leadership Development Certificate as well as CME credit. To participate, go to https://www.sages.org/fld-sign-up/ for more information.
The “list goes on and on” when it comes to Dr. Shao’s SAGES friends and mentors and includes: Drs. Todd Heniford and Vedra Augenstein, Drs. Dana Telem, Alia Quereshi, Juliane Bingener-Casey, Courtney Collins, Ruchir Puri, Yewande Alimi, and SAGES Exec for believing in the importance of the FLD Curriculum!
Through this group and the entire SAGES community, Dr. Shao says she’s gotten to know an incredible group of passionate, down to earth, innovative, talented and fun people who care deeply about advancing knowledge, innovation/technology, and culture – and who she looks forward to reconnecting with every year at the annual meeting (pictured riding the mechanical bull in Denver is a particularly fun memory).
“SAGES has provided me with many opportunitie to advance in my career and develop as a clinician, researcher, and leader. I hope to continue to learn from the organization and my colleagues so I can continue to grow as a surgeon, a leader, and a person.”
These days, Dr. Shao is also finding more time to spend with her family and do the things she loves outside of surgery, including reading (a self-described “book nerd”, she was married in a library), working with her hands on DIY projects (big surprise as a surgeon!) and trying new outdoor activities, including skiing and golf.