TAMPA, Fla. -- For the first time, there are more women going to medical school in the United States than men, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
One particular Advent Health surgeon, Dr. Sharona Ross, is being credited for helping that trend.
Just by taking a look at her cowgirl boots, you can tell Dr. Ross has her own style. Her distinctive style is forging the way for women, not just in the medical field, but the surgical field.
“We hear that it’s very aggressive and male dominated, you’ll never have a chance to have a family and kids, it’s just too much,” said Dr. Ross.
However, this mother of four has broken through all the stereotypes.
“I did feel as a woman, I need to work harder to be seen or evaluated equally,” said Dr. Ross.
In 2009, Dr. Ross started the first International Women In Surgery Career Symposium.
In her living room.
"Women were coming to this event to help other women... The transformation was beautiful,” said Dr. Ross.
The symposium has since expanded to resort hotels, where it is attended by hundreds of women from around the world. This February 14, 15 and 16, it will be held at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater.
“By sharing your experiences, it will strengthen you and others. It will bring people together, the power of all of us together,” said Dr. Ross.
USF student, Sydni Schlosser, is among the next generation of female doctors. She said shadowing Dr. Ross has not only been educational but inspirational.
“One of the biggest things Dr. Ross has taught me is that you can be in a "boys club" because surgery still is a boys club, but you can still retain your femininity,” said Schlosser. “I’m just extremely proud to have her as my mentor, I’m proud to be a part of something so big.”
“The negative perception is no longer correct, make your own future by making your own decisions and making things happen for you,” said Dr. Ross.
For more information on the 11th Annual International Women In Surgery Career Symposium, you can click here.