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Breaking Through: Elizabeth Ann Gormley and a History of Firsts for Women in Urology
Kevin Koo, MD, MPH, MPhil1, Deborah J. Lightner, MD2.
1Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA, 2Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

BACKGROUND: Since Dr. Mary Louise Gannon became the first female member of the AUA in 1975, women have ascended the ranks and offices of American urology. To date, however, there have yet to be women at one of the highest levels of leadership: the AUA Board of Directors. In 2017, Dr. E. Ann Gormley breaks through this milestone in the storied history of women in urology.
METHODS: Archival research at the AUA, New England Section of the AUA, and Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU); review of her contributions to the scientific literature; and her colleagues’ narrative accounts.
RESULTS: Dr. Gormley was raised in Saskatchewan, Canada, and earned her medical degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed urology residency at the University of Alberta. But it was her fellowship in female urology with Dr. Edward McGuire that ignited her research career on urethral slings. As steering committee chair of the Urinary Incontinence Treatment Network, Dr. Gormley oversaw the landmark Trial of Mid-Urethral Slings and Value of Urodynamic Evaluation trials, both published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2008, she became the first woman to serve as SUFU president. Dr. Gormley has also achieved a distinguished career as an educator. She joined the faculty at Dartmouth in 1993 and has been residency program director since 2001. A vocal advocate for trainees, she is a past president of the Society of Urology Chairpersons and Program Directors and was named to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Residency Review Committee for urology in 2013, now serving as vice-chair. In 2015, for her sustained contributions to resident education, she was honored by the ACGME as one of the nation’s 10 most outstanding program directors. Finally, Dr. Gormley has been a passionate leader in the AUA, having served on its Exam Committee, Nominating Committee, and Bylaws Committee. She was a panel member for the AUA stress urinary incontinence guideline and chaired the AUA/SUFU overactive bladder guideline. After six years as New England Section secretary and then vice president, Dr. Gormley ascended to the presidency in 2013, becoming the first woman to lead the New England Section. After a quarter-century of service to the AUA and the specialty, she was elected by her mentors and colleagues to the AUA Board of Directors.
CONCLUSIONS: Dr. Gormley has charted a career of “firsts,” continuing to the present. In 2017, she becomes the first woman to serve on the AUA Board of Directors in the 115-year history of the AUA.


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