American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

News from 
American College of Surgeons

Clinical Congress 2020
October 3-7, 2020


Jen Moran | 312-202-5324
or Dan Hamilton | 312-202-5328



Boston surgeon Susan Miller Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS, honored for inspiring women in surgery

ACS Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award recognizes Dr. Briggs’s contributions to the advancement of women in the field of surgery

CHICAGO (October 4, 2020; 11:00 pm CDT): This evening Susan Miller Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS, received the 2020 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award during the virtual Convocation ceremony that is a highlight of the College’s virtual Clinical Congress 2020. Dr. Briggs is an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and affiliate faculty in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Program in Global Surgery. The award was developed by the ACS Women in Surgery Committee (WiSC) and recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of women in the field of surgery.

As the Carmella R. and Steven C. Kletjian Endowed Chair in Global Surgery since 2018, Dr. Briggs has actively helped recruit and hire mid-level women faculty and serves as their academic mentor in achieving the next steps toward promotion. She also strives to advance first-rate patient care, research, and education in global surgery.
With specialization in trauma and acute care surgery, disaster education, and global health, Dr. Briggs also serves as the director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s International Trauma and Disaster Institute, a center of excellence in disaster preparedness and response. She is credited with establishing the International Medical Surgical Response Teams (now known as the Trauma and Critical Care Teams-TCCT) for the U.S. government, which organizes federalized volunteer disaster medical teams of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals from the throughout the U.S. who respond to emergencies around the globe.

As Team Commander of one a TCCT, Dr. Briggs has been the Supervising Medical Officer for numerous U.S. disasters, including the World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina disasters. Internationally, Briggs has led trauma teams to disaster sites in lran, Haiti, El Salvador, Russia, Ecuador, and China.

During the coronavirus pandemic this year, Dr. Briggs led the U.S. government TCCT to Tuba City, Arizona, where she worked alongside 14 other clinicians for 10 days in the Navajo reservation hospital (intensive care units and emergency department) to help health care providers better use their personnel and resources to meet the increasing number of patients.

Dr. Briggs pioneering career has paved the way for younger women in surgery not only at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital but around the world. Her perseverance, dedication, and focus on assisting women in surgery in furthering their careers exemplify the spirit of the Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award.

The Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award is named for Mary Edwards Walker, MD, the first female surgeon to be employed by the U.S. Army and the only woman in the 1855 graduating class of Syracuse Medical School. Dr. Walker is the only woman to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Her extensive commitment to the surgical profession has helped pave the way for the women surgeons of today.

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About Susan Miller Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS

Susan Miller Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS received her bachelor's degree from University of Virginia, Charlottesville; her medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Illinois; and her master of public health in international health from Harvard University. She completed her surgical internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and was the hospital’s first women surgical chief resident.

Dr. Briggs completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship in burns and trauma at the University of California San Francisco. Her first surgical appointment was at the University of Louisville, Ky., as an assistant professor of general and vascular surgery before returning to MGH as an associate professor of surgery and director of the acute care unit, Shriners Burns Institute. Dr. Briggs a past-president of the Panamerican Trauma Society and Boston Surgical Society and former vice-president of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. Its annual Clinical Congress is one of the largest international meetings of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit