Ola Ahmed awarded 2024 PROGRESS Women in Surgery Fellowship

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L-R Mr Sandy Philips, Marketing Director – ETHICON, Johnson & Johnson UK and Ireland, PROGRESS Women in Surgery Fellowship awardee Ms Ola Ahmed and RCSI President Professor Laura Viani

Ola Ahmed has been announced by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) as the recipient of the 2024 PROGRESS Women in Surgery Fellowship.

The prestigious bursary, awarded by RCSI and funded by Johnson & Johnson MedTech, promotes female participation in surgical training at Fellowship level.

Ms Ahmed will undertake a Fellowship in Abdominal Organ Transplantation and HPB fellowship program at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ms Ahmed has a strong interest in surgical training, and most recently completed a Masters in Medical Education (with distinction) from the University of Dundee with a focus on technology enhanced learning modalities for undergraduate surgical teaching.

She completed a two-year research fellowship under the tutelage of Professor William Chapman at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis which contributed to a PhD qualification from Trinity College Dublin studying marginal liver allografts with Professor Cliona O' Farrelly's immunology group. 

She has over 50 publications, three book chapters and presented at several national and international meetings including the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery meeting, Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, American College of Surgeons meeting and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. 

Ms Ahmed commented: “I am delighted to receive the 2024 PROGRESS Women in Surgery Fellowship and would like to thank RCSI and Johnson & Johnson MedTech for their support. I am also honoured to be the first HPB recipient of this award that will support me during my fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. This initiative will allow me to explore the boundaries of highly complex HPB resections for various benign and malignant conditions. I look forward to learning from an internationally recognised expert group who continue to innovate in the field of both HPB and Transplant Surgery.” 

Ms Ola Ahmed

The PROGRESS Fellowship was developed following recommendations in the ‘PROGRESS: Promoting Gender Equality in Surgery’ report published by RCSI in 2017. The report highlighted the complex barriers to female progression in surgery and specifically called for the provision of a Fellowship to inspire exceptional female trainees and enable them to avail of transformational international training.

Now in its fifth year, the PROGRESS Fellowship aims to nurture and develop the expertise and skill base of Irish female surgeons, enabling them to gain international exposure in their chosen fields, acquire additional surgical skills, access new technologies and contribute to the advancement of surgical science and practice on the island of Ireland.
Ms Ahmed’s Fellowship was announced by RCSI Vice President Professor Deborah McNamara and presented by RCSI President Professor Laura Viana as part of RCSI’s Charter Meeting celebrations.

RCSI President Professor Laura Viani said: “I congratulate Ms Ola Ahmed on receiving this very significant Fellowship. RCSI strives to ensure that surgery as a profession is an attractive and practical career for both men and women. This Fellowship is an opportunity to support and highlight the potential of women in surgery. Ms Ahmed is a fantastic ambassador for this Fellowship and I look forward to following her achievements throughout her career.”

The first two PROGRESS Fellowships were funded by Johnson & Johnson MedTech and were awarded to Ms Ailín Rogers (2020) and Ms Helen Mohan (2021). The 2022 Fellowship was awarded to Ms Christina Fleming and Ms Evelyn Murphy was awarded the 2023 Fellowship, both Fellowships were supported by Olympus Medical. 

For more information about the PROGRESS Women in Surgery Fellowship, visit the RCSI website.