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Dr. Gloria Elizabeth Sarto





Year of Birth / Death

b. 1929


Medical School

University of Wisconsin Medical School


Geography

LOCATION
Wisconsin


Career Path

Research: Human genetics
Administration: Medical association presidents
Dr. Gloria Elizabeth Sarto



Milestones

YEAR
2002
ACHIEVEMENT
Dr. Gloria Sarto is the first woman to be appointed president of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.


Biography

Dr. Gloria Sarto, whose specialty is obstetrics and gynecology, also has a Ph.D. in medical genetics. She has had an illustrious research career and holds two patents for processes in genetic research she co-invented. She has also chaired departments of obstetrics and gynecology at the universities of Wisconsin and New Mexico, and in 2002 became the first woman to be elected president of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.

Gloria Elizabeth Sarto trained as a nurse before enrolling in college, and worked as staff nurse at St. Luke's Hospital in Racine, Wisconsin for a year after qualifying. She then decided to enroll at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she completed premedical requirements and earned a bachelor of science degree, graduating in 1955. She went straight on to the medical school at the university, graduating with a doctor of medicine degree in 1958. Dr. Sarto completed an internship at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital in Ohio and then returned to Wisconsin for a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospital in Madison.

In 1963, Dr. Sarto became an instructor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin. Over the next decade she rose in seniority in the department, while also working on a Ph.D. in medical genetics. In 1971 she received her doctorate, and a year later, (just nine years after joining the department) was named associate chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology. After becoming a full professor in 1975 Dr. Sarto moved to Northwestern University in Chicago, as professor and assistant chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Sarto went on to chair departments of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin and the University of New Mexico. As well as her clinical work, she also served on numerous research committees studying reproductive biology, human embryology, and women's health. In 1998, after twelve years at the University of New Mexico, Dr. Sarto returned to her alma mater as co-director of the National Center of Excellence for Women's Health. She is currently also special assistant to the dean for gender issues and acting director of the division of maternal-fetal medicine.

From 1978 to 1986 Dr. Sarto served as director of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Incorporated. She is a member of more than twenty professional societies spanning her interests in obstetrics and gynecology, medical genetics, and women physicians and scientists. From 1981 to 1983 she was the first vice president of the Chicago branch of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). In 2002, Dr. Sarto was appointed president of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, the first woman elected to that post in the 127-year history of the society.

She has also served on the editorial boards of Perinatal Press and The Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Over the last few years she has consulted on a series of committees for the Institute of Medicine including the Committee on Lesbian Health Research Priorities, the Committee on a Vision for Space Medicine Beyond Earth Orbit, and the Committee on Understanding and Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care.

Dr. Sarto also has four adopted children—Britanny, who is from India, Brooke, who was born in Peru, and Breeze and Brighton from China.

In 1998 Dr. Sarto received the Distinguished Member Award from the Association of Women Surgeons, and in 2000, AMWA awarded her the Lila A. Wallis Women's Health Award for lifetime achievement in women's health and research.


National Library of Medicine