Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Dr. Rashmi Roy

Dr. Rashmi Roy attended Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, where she graduated with honors, in 2001. She completed a five-year residency in general surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital–Columbia University Medical Center.

She has published research on thyroid cancer in surgical journals, presented work at national meetings and authored several chapters in the field of endocrine surgery.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES?

The biggest challenge in my career is being a woman in the field of surgery. Surgery has been a male-dominated field for over 200 years and continues to be today. Although the percentage of women who go to medical school, compared to men, has become more equal, women are still less likely to choose surgery as their career. Even today, in 2023, when more and more women are performing surgeries, the perception of a woman in surgery is sometimes still dated back hundreds of years. Every day I encounter patients who ask if I am the nurse or ask me when they will be seeing the actual surgeon. We dress in the same scrubs and wear the same scrub hat, but my gender alone is what makes people second guess my capabilities.

I overcome this challenge every day with self-awareness and self-confidence. I remind myself of my impeccable training and my successful career. I treat these patients with kindness and realize that they are just not used to seeing a female surgeon.

HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND GROW AS A LEADER?

A leader in my field means being the highest-volume surgeon with the highest cure rates and lowest complication rates. It also means being a thought leader and finding better ways to perform the surgical procedure or better ways to cure the process.

I evolve and grow as a leader by honing my skills, staying up to date on literature, going to national meetings and applying all of this to my day-to-day practice.

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