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

2017 International Volunteer Award: Sherry M. Wren

Sherry M. Wren, MD, FACS, FCS(ECSA)

Sherry M. Wren, MD, FACS, FCS(ECSA), a general surgeon in Palo Alto, CA, and professor of surgery and director of global surgery, Center for Innovation and Global Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, received the International Surgical Volunteerism Award for her work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders) in several African countries, as well as her work in the U.S. aimed at preparing surgeons to provide international humanitarian aid.

Dr. Wren began volunteering with MSF to provide humanitarian aid and surgical care to several African countries engaged in armed conflicts, including Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to surgery related to the trauma of war, her volunteer work with MSF included the spectrum of surgery, particularly general, obstetric, and orthopaedic surgery.

Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Wren has spearheaded research and training initiatives in the region that have had a significant effect on patient care.

Her first long-term project was at the University Teaching Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe, where she created a bidirectional surgical residency exchange program with the University of Zimbabwe that was recognized by the American Board of Surgery and met Residency Review Committee requirements. She has directly trained more than 40 Zimbabwean surgeons in trauma, ultrasonography, low-resource laparoscopy, and other procedures. She started a medical student interest group in surgery for women in Zimbabwe, as all surgeons in the country are men.

Dr. Wren also partnered with the Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Bamenda, Cameroon, to conduct location relevant research with local staff. Dr. Wren’s experiences in Africa led to her election to the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and South Africa (COSECSA), an African surgery professional organization. She participates in the COSECSA’s certification and examination processes as well as examinations for advanced surgical designations (masters of clinical surgery and fellowship of clinical surgery). Dr. Wren also worked extensively with surgeons in Ebola-ravaged African countries during the 2014 outbreak of the virus.

Dr. Wren’s training and educational experiences led her to design the International Humanitarian Aid Skills Course at Stanford, a course dedicated to preparing surgeons for a role in providing humanitarian aid. The course involves didactics, case studies, simulation, and video-based teaching for the critical areas of tropical medicine, low-resource anesthesia, burns and wounds, orthopaedic trauma, and emergency obstetrics, among other topics. Dr. Wren teaches the course, which has been presented approximately 10 times to more than 400 physicians from around the world.

Sherry M. Wren, MD, FACS, FCS(ECSA)

Sherry M. Wren, MD, FACS, FCS(ECSA)
Sherry M. Wren, MD, FACS, FCS(ECSA)
Sherry M. Wren, MD, FACS, FCS(ECSA)