Jefferson Surgical Solutions


While in San Juan last February for the American College of Surgeons’ 66th Annual Puerto Rico Chapter Meeting, Jefferson colorectal surgeon Gerald A. Isenberg, MD, FACS, met someone who made history at Jefferson: Angela A. Ramirez-Irizarry, MD, FACS, FACPS, DABPS. Dr. Ramirez introduced herself following Dr. Isenberg’s presentation on diverticular disease and shared her fond memories of Jefferson.

In 1961, Dr. Ramirez was accepted as the hospital’s first female resident in General Surgery. (It was the same year that Jefferson Medical College first accepted women.) Dr. Ramirez later became the first woman in Puerto Rico to be board certified in Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery. Since then, she’s founded and co-chaired a cleft palate clinic with her colleagues

from Dentistry and served as founder and first president of the Caribbean Society for Surgery of the Hand among multiple other achievements. For years she also taught as an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Ponce School of Medicine.

Now 80, Dr. Ramirez still practices. She believes that as long as a surgeon has her mind and health, there’s no reason to quit: “You should keep on being a surgeon – emulating the principles of ethics and compassion and the good practice of surgery that we were taught at Jefferson,” she says. “We owe it to ourselves, to our patients and to our mentors.”

For more about Dr. Ramirez’s experiences at Jefferson, please read the full-length story at Jefferson.edu/AngelaRamirez