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An Exclusive Interview: Dr. Julie Ann Sosa

An Exclusive Interview: Dr. Julie Ann Sosa

Exclusive Interview (1200 × 628 px) (1)

To celebrate Women’s History Month, ThyForLife sat down with Dr. Julie Ann Sosa, Chair of the Department of Surgery at UCSF, to learn more about her journey as a women in the medical field.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

[My name is ] Julie Ann Sosa from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). I’m an endocrine surgeon/surgeon scientist and Chair of the Department of Surgery. 

I’m a proud member of The American Thyroid Association, Endocrine Society, the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and the International Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and I’m on the medical advisory board of ThyCa.

What led you to specifically want to help people with thyroid conditions? Do you have a thyroid condition yourself?

I love the surgery, and for patients with thyroid cancer who are the focus of my clinical practice and research, the opportunity to cure, which is not always possible when it comes to cancer surgery. I do have a thyroid issue, and that helps me talk to my patients.

Have you faced any barriers or challenges in your career due to being a woman?

For sure – I have and I do, right up to today! There is so much opportunity, and we need to be organized and strategic to assure that our thyroidology community is diverse and inclusive, as that will assure it is even more excellent!

Have you been able to overcome any barriers or challenges that you have faced in your career due to being a woman?

Yes. Becoming a Chair of Surgery was a dream that I never thought possible. Now, I’m the second consecutive woman Chair of Surgery at UCSF. In some ways, I think that says more than being a first woman chair. I credit [the] women who came before us for being pioneers.

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How can we continue to encourage more women to pursue roles in the wellness and/or medical field?

We need to mentor and sponsor women considering careers in medicine and surgery. For those of us who are privileged to be in leadership in any form, we need to serve as role models working to break down longstanding real and perceived barriers to equity.

What is one thing we can do collectively to further support women living with a thyroid condition?

Advance the science! We need to work to innovate and discover […] ways that improve the outcomes of patients with thyroid disease.

If you could have dinner with 1 inspirational woman, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

To be honest, with the pandemic, I would absolutely love to have dinner with any and all of my women colleagues in thyroidology who I have not seen in person over the last two years and who I miss so much. I look forward to seeing them soon at ENDO2022 and the ATA later this year!

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