Black women are shattering glass ceilings and changing the narrative surrounding representation when it comes to leadership in medicine. Dr. KMarie King was recently appointed to serve as the chair of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Surgery at Albany Medical Center, making her the first Black woman to sit at the helm of a surgery division at an Academic Health Sciences Center in the United States.
Dr. King—who currently serves as chief of surgery and medical director for surgical quality at Grady Memorial Hospital and a professor at Morehouse School of Medicine—has dedicated her career to advancing medical research surrounding pancreatic and liver cancers. The Washington University alum, who served in the United States Army, did her residency training in general surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and earned a master’s degree in biomedical science at the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic where she also completed her fellowship training. Over the course of her career, Dr. King has evolved into a thought leader in the realm of healthcare. She has penned several pieces that explored the intersections of academic medicine and clinical research. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and the American College of Surgeons and sits on the boards of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.
Dr. King took to Twitter to express her excitement about her new role. “Words cannot express how delighted I am today of the announcement to lead the Dept of Surgery @AlbanyMed,” she posted. “The connection I felt with everyone I met made it seem ordained. I am humbled by the honor and am filled with gratitude. Thank you all for celebrating with me!” She succeeds Steven Stain, M.D and is slated to officially step into the position on September 1.
Dr. King’s appointment comes at a time when there is a need for more racial and gender representation in medicine. Fortune reported Black women account for less than 3 percent of doctors in the U.S.