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J. Marion Sims Lectureship

For thirty-seven years, AUGS’ keynote lecture was named after J Marion Sims, considered by many the “father of modern gynecology” for, among other things, his innovation and determination in finding a surgical cure for Vesicovaginal fistula. His first patients to successfully undergo these treatments underwent multiple procedures without anesthesia (which was not universally accepted at the time), and were slaves in the American south. His contributions to women’s health were many; that much is beyond dispute. Sims cannot and should not be held responsible for the institution of slavery itself. But the reality is that there is much we cannot know, and the dynamics of power cannot be separated from the story.

The J. Marion Sims lecture served this society well for many years, we were no longer unified in our views, and it now serves primarily as a source of polarization, pain, and disenfranchisement. Since AUGS could no longer speak with one voice about this topic, the Board of Directors of AUGS has determined that it was the right time for the J. Marion Sims lectureship to be retired. The J. Marion Sims Lecture was retired on November 11, 2017.

This lecture was endowed through the generous support of ABOG.

Lectureship Goals

  • Recognized an individual annually who is recognized as pioneering surgical innovation within women’s health care
  • Further advanced the knowledge and teaching of innovation in women’s health care
  • Funded speakers who provided a fresh perspective


Past Recipients

  • 2017 – L. Lewis Wall, MD
  • 2016 – Panel: Catherine Bradley, MD, MSCE; Gunnar Lose, MD, DMSc; Paul Riss, MD; Karl Tamussino, MD; Philip Toozs-Hobson, MBBS, ASM, FRCOG, MD
  • 2015 – William Parker, MD
  • 2014 – Linda Brubaker, MD
  • 2013 – Patricia Numann, MD
  • 2012 – Christopher Maher, MD
  • 2011 – Carolyn Clancy, MD