Women in Surgery, a webinar to promote interest among female medical students in the University of Ibadan, hosted by UIMSA was held on the 15th of May, 2021. There were three speakers present, all successful consultant female surgeons and the event had over a hundred participants.

Semiloore Atere, coordinated the programme. There was a minute of silence at the beginning of the occasion to commemorate the death of Olusegun Eniayekan, a member of the 2k18 set who lost his life earlier this month after which Eniola Akinnuoye, the Vice President of UIMSA, gave the welcome address.

The anchor of the first session, Peace Eze, in troduced the speaker, Dr. Afieharo I. Michael, a consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. Dr. Michael gave a talk on daring to dream, citing that life’s goal is fulfilment so we should do what we love. She also highlighted the importance of self conviction, being self aware, having a mentor and support systems.She concluded her presentation with the following quote “you can dare to dream of a career in surgery and excel in it if it’s what you love, if you have the right support”.

The moderator of the second presentation, Ifeyinwa Ogbogu, introduced the second speaker, Dr. Ogadinma Mgbajah, a consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, the first female Cardiothoracic Surgeon in West Africa. Before her talk, Dr. Ogadinma mentioned that she was pleasantly surprised with UIMSA for their use of social media and was particularly impressed in Ifeyinwa who had been in contact with her. Her lecture was titled “Stilettos, sneakers, slides, boots, diapers and the scalpel”. She talked majorly on sterotypes, challenging yourself as a woman in surgery not to act on them, then to charge the others around you. She went on to mention that there will always be pressure but you should just focus on your own excellence and always be on the lookout for opportunities.

After her session, Semiloore introduced the President of UIMSA, Olaoluwa Olorunfemi, who had been meant to take the welcome address but wasn’t available due to network issues, who acknowledged the speakers of the day, thanking them for taking out the time to address the UIMSA members. There was a short trivia session following this.

Afterwards, the third anchor introduced the third and final speaker, Dr. Abimbola Abolarinwa, the first female Consultant Urologist in Nigeria. Her speech was titled “Seeking a Well Balanced Work and Social Life”. She talked about puting yourself higher on your own priority list mentioning that if you fail to take care of yourself, you’d eventually fail  everyone else. She also emphasised the importance of support systems, having a hobby, religious faith and making your money work for you. In her conclusion she voiced that mistakes are not failures and it’s important to learn to forgive yourself and move on.

Following the final presentation, the winner of the trivia session was announced. Quick acknowledgements were given and another trivia session was held. After this, the webinar came to an end. It was indeed a beautiful programme.

By Ifeayinchukwu Achife