Meet Dr. Finck: “Never Say You Can’t”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the accomplishments of women in health care – including Christine Finck, MD, FACS, Connecticut Children’s first woman surgeon-in-chief and one of six women surgeon-in-chiefs at 45 children’s hospitals across the country.

Surgeon-in-Chief Christine Finck, MD, performs bariatric surgery

What inspired you to become a surgeon?

Dr. Finck: I was inspired to become a surgeon ever since I can remember. As a child, I always enjoyed working with people, I enjoyed science a lot, and I always knew I was going to go to medical school. My parents used to make fun of me because I would always look at taking the anatomy classes. I loved science. I always got charged up when I would be able to do some of the anatomical dissections on the worms. When I was pre-med in college, I loved all of the courses and I particularly loved volunteering in the hospitals. What I loved about that the most was the fact that I got to help people. All I did was deliver supplies here and there but I got to talk with people and try to help them on their journey when they were ill.

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What women in history (from the medical field or elsewhere) served as role models for you?

Dr. Finck: Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was very important as one of the first female physicians. I went to Syracuse University for medical school, which was founded in her honor, so she definitely inspired me. In my training, Dr. Patricia Numann, who became one of the first women to be the president of the American College of Surgeons, was a very strong mentor for me. Her dedication to caring for her patients while rising up to a leadership position during a difficult time is very inspiring.

What message do you have for girls or young women as they determine their future career paths?

Dr. Finck: Follow your heart and follow your dreams. Never say you can’t do something because with dedication and tenacity you can do anything you want.

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What do you like most about Connecticut Children’s?

Dr. Finck: The people – the patients we care for and the people we work among. They’re who I get up for every day. I couldn’t think of a better job.

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