ReSurge International and SkinCeuticals are proud to announce our third cohort of women reconstructive surgeons in the Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWRS) program! Six women from Ecuador, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia kicked-off their two year program with a trip to the U.S. for hands-on surgical training at Stony Brook University and New York Plastic Surgical Group and leadership training at SkinCeuticals. Throughout the next two years, these talented women will continue their surgical training and leadership development alongside a mentorship network of other women leaders in their field. Scroll down to learn more about these inspiring surgeons.
Meet the Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery Cohort 3
Dr. Adelaida Mghase
Dar es Saalam, Tanzania
“My goal is to help people in my country through reconstructive surgery, especially those in remote areas. I’d like to maybe start an outreach program. I currently work in the city so we need to follow those patients to where they are.”
My name is Dr. Adelaida Elisamehe Mghase, born and raised in Moshi rural, at the foot of the highest point in Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro. I come from a small clan among the native tribe called Chagga, prevalent in Northern Tanzania.We grew coffee, banana, and maize as small scale farmers growing up. I spoke our mother tongue – Chagga and learned Swashili and English through school.
Currently, I am a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at the Department of Surgery at Muhimbili National Hospital. I completed 5 years of Medical college at IMTU in 2011 whilst raising my 4 kids in partnership with my supportive husband. I went on to complete a Master of Medicine course in 2017 at Muhimbili.
I am the first female surgeon in Tanzania. This feels great, but it is a lot of pressure. It’s a hard job for me to inspire others and to start learning how to teach others to be in this field.
Dr. Armaan Khosa
“I love that we are all from different developing nations all over the world. I look forward to the program giving us leadership skills and more confidence so that we can trust more in ourselves. Maybe we will even motivate young girls from our own countries to become doctors or surgeons like us.”
My name is Dr. Armaan Khosa. I am currently working as an Assistant Professor in The Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at KEM Hospital in Mumbai. I did my surgery training from GMC Patiala in Punjab and MBBS from KMC Manipal. I am truly glad to be a part of the PWRS program. I feel really honored to be chosen among this cohort. It feels amazing to meet so many wonderful and inspiring women.
I always had the thrill to become a surgeon. And being a girl, this wasn’t really appreciated by the society initially. But, with the will to do better and the support of my family, I have achieved my dream to become a surgeon. I would love to transform lives with reconstructive surgery and I feel I can give back to society and my countrymen. I want to inspire other women around me to do better and I hope to become one of the best surgeons in the world and give back to society.
Dr. TRAN Nguyen Nhat Khanh
“For me, the best part of this program is a leadership training. I want to bring those skills back to Vietnam. I hope that through us, we can transfer those skills to others in the future and empower the younger generation.”
My name is TRAN Nguyen Nhat Khanh, born and raised in Hue – a small and beautiful city in the middle of Vietnam. After finishing my Master in Surgery, I moved to Ho Chi Minh city for further training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Since medical school, I’ve always been attracted to reconstructive surgery and have been trying to get involved in as many voluntary surgical missions as possible. Reconstructive surgery never ceases to amaze me. It is incredible how a small intervention could make such a difference in the life of a patient. It also helps me achieve a deep sense of satisfaction by creating a new beginning for each patient I’ve met.
However, on the pathway to be a surgeon, I found out that women are a minority in the field. Prejudice and suspicion exist in many different ways and it’s even deeper than I thought, especially in developing countries. The more I understand about this discrimination, the more I encourage myself to break through. I believe that my ambition to lean in will navigate me through the hard times and will help me become an outstanding surgeon that can pioneer and motivate other female doctors to become surgeons, eliminating sexism and supporting feminism in some developing countries, including Vietnam.
Dr. Mildred Nakazwe
Zambia, studying in Ghana
“I want the next generation of women not to feel afraid to go into a field that’s male dominated. I want them to be able to take that step to take the lead, and just follow their dreams. My advice is to surround themselves with people that support them. Find other supportive women, and men too – because they are out there.”
My name is Mildred, I am a surgeon and have two wonderful children. I received my Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBCHb) from the University of Zambia in 2010. After completing an internship and community posting, I went on to do a Masters of Medicine in General Surgery, which I completed in 2020 at the same University. I’m currently pursuing a fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery under the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). I spent my first year and a half in the department of plastic surgery at the University Teaching Hospital of Zambia and now attached to the National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burn Centre at Korle-Bu Teaching hospital in Accra, Ghana till the end of my fellowship in December 2023. I am proud to be a part of the PWRS program, and to have also received an international exchange scholarship from ReSurge.
Dr. Swosti Thapa
“There is a great need in my country. There are a lot of people from very rural areas with low-incomes. Many suffer from deformities, congenital conditions, and traumas and they also may face discrimination. By doing those reconstructive surgeries we can really change their lives.”
My name is Swosti, and I am a maxillofacial surgeon in a country where only 1/5th of all maxillofacial surgeons are women.
As a student, I was charmed by the challenges I saw in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. I dreamt to be a surgeon and that dream became a reality when I completed my Master’s Degree from Chongqing University, China. I wanted to learn more and be the best so I joined the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department in Kirtipur Hospital, Nepal. Two of the seniors at Kirtipur Hospital were highly skilled women maxillofacial surgeons who work with ReSurge and were a part of earlier PWRS cohorts. I was inspired by them to want to be a leader.
Today, when I think of what I wanted to be, what I am now, and what I want to achieve, I understand the innumerable challenges I faced and humongous obstacles on my way. I am, at the same time, thankful for the hands that helped me and words of encouragement from my seniors. I am fortunate to be a part of the PWRS program.
My confidence level and determination have increased and I am serving my patients with better skills after attending leadership training with PWRS. I want to now do the best in my field and also pass on my skills to new surgeons and hope they can believe in themself and serve more needy people in my country.
Dr. Karen Gaibor
“I want to be a role model for my newborn daughter. I want to her to see that she can do anything and everything. That she can choose to study something that mostly men do and she can see herself in any future.”
My name is Dr.Karen Gaibor, currently I am a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in a small city near the coast of Ecuador called Salinas. I was born in Guayaquil, where I studied medicine and did my postgraduate program which took me 5 years to complete.
During my postgraduate studies, I faced many challenges. The male professors preferred to operate with male surgeons over female surgeons. This would happen time and time again, an experience that I hope to break for other women in the future.
I have been involved in voluntary surgical missions for about 9 years. Since I was a medical intern I knew that it was my path to help others using reconstructive surgery.
A Brief History of PWRS
In 2017, we partnered with SkinCeuticals to create the Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWRS) Program. Together we are promoting gender equity in global surgery by advancing first generation women reconstructive surgeons in underserved parts of the world. We are helping women break barriers, rise to leadership positions in their hospitals, and transform their communities through life-changing surgeries to those most in need. And by building a generation of skilled women surgeons in countries with few – let alone women – reconstructive surgeons, these pioneering women will become role models that inspire and mentor future surgeons in countries currently lacking access to life-changing surgical care.
Learn more about the PWRS program here: https://resurge.org/pwrs/