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Famous Female Surgeons

Updated June 14, 2019 98.8k views35 items

List of famous female surgeons, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female surgeons list contains the most prominent and top females known for being surgeons. You might also be interested in famous female doctors and famous male cardiac surgeons. There are thousand of females working as surgeons in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic surgeons have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a surgeon then the people below should give you inspiration.

People here include everyone from Mary Edwards Walker and Dorothy Lavinia Brown.

While this isn't a list of all female surgeons, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female surgeons?" and "Who are the best female surgeons?"

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    Debi Thomas

    Debra Janine Thomas (born March 25, 1967) is an American former figure skater and physician. She is the 1986 World champion, the 1988 Olympic bronze medalist, and a two-time U.S. national champion. Her rivalry with East Germany's Katarina Witt at the 1988 Calgary Olympics was known as the Battle of the Carmens....  more
    • Age: 53
    • Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, New York, United States of America
    • Gender: Female
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Profession: Physician, Surgeon
    • Schools: Stanford University, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Mary Edwards Walker

    Mary Edwards Walker, M.D. (November 26, 1832 – February 21, 1919), commonly referred to as Dr. Mary Walker, was an American abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is the only woman to ever receive the Medal of Honor.In 1855, she earned her medical degree at Syracuse Medical College in New York, married and started a medical practice. She volunteered with the Union Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War and served as a surgeon at a temporary hospital in Washington, D.C., even though at the time women and sectarian physicians were considered unfit for the Union Army Examining Board. She was captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 87 (1832-1919)
    • Birthplace: Oswego, New York
    • Gender: Female
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Profession: Surgeon
    • Schools: State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse Medical College
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Dorothy Lavinia Brown

    Dorothy Lavinia Brown (January 7, 1914 – June 13, 2004), also known as "Dr. D.", was an African-American surgeon, legislator, and teacher. She was the first female surgeon of African-American ancestry from the Southeastern United States. She was also the first African American female to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly as she was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives. While serving in the House of Representatives Brown fought for women rights with abortions and for the rights of people of color....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 85 (1919-2004)
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Gender: Female
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Profession: Politician, Physician, Surgeon, Writer, Teacher
    • Schools: Bennett College, Meharry Medical College
  • Photo: TEDxFlanders / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Fiona Melanie Wood (born 2 February 1958) is a British-born plastic surgeon working in Perth, Western Australia. She is the director of the Royal Perth Hospital burns unit and the Western Australia Burns Service. In addition, Wood is also a clinical professor with the School of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia and director of the McComb Research Foundation....  more
    • Age: 62
    • Birthplace: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    • Gender: Female
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, Australia
    • Profession: Professor, Scientist, Physician, Surgeon
    • Schools: University of Western Australia