Dr. Carol Bennett: Woman Who Made History as First Black Woman Urologist in the U.S., Earns Prestigious Leadership Accolade

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Trailblazer Dr. Carol Bennett Honored with Prestigious Leadership Award

Dr. Carol Bennett, the pioneering first Black woman urologist in the United States, has been honored with the Jean Fourcroy Leadership Award from the Society of Women in Urology.

This prestigious accolade recognizes her groundbreaking contributions to the field and her role as a trailblazer for women in urology.

Breaking Barriers and Shattering Glass Ceilings

In 1987, Dr. Bennett made history by becoming the first Black woman to be board-certified by the American Board of Urology. Her journey to this milestone was marked by determination and resilience, as she navigated a field dominated by white males at the time.

“In 1978, when I joined the urology residency program at the University of Michigan, only 0.9% of urology trainees were women,” Dr. Bennett recalls. “Role models were few and far between, but I was inspired by the handful of women who had successfully paved the way.”

A Legacy of Exceptional Achievements

Dr. Bennett’s achievements extend far beyond her pioneering status. She has made significant contributions to the field of neurourology, specializing in treating urinary tract diseases and defects in the male reproductive system, particularly in patients with spinal cord injuries.

Her groundbreaking work enabled the first pregnancy in the United States from a semen sample obtained from a paraplegic man through electroejaculation, a testament to her dedication to improving quality of life for her patients.

Honoring a Trailblazer and Mentor

The Jean Fourcroy Leadership Award, named after the founding member of the Society of Women in Urology, recognizes Dr. Bennett’s exceptional leadership and mentorship.

Throughout her career, she has been a driving force in promoting diversity and inclusion in the field, actively sponsoring and supporting underrepresented trainees.

“Dr. Bennett urges the urologic community to take action by investing in underrepresented minorities from the high school, college, and medical school stages,” said a colleague. “Her life exemplifies the immense power of having someone believe in you.”

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Dr. Bennett’s impact extends beyond her clinical and research accomplishments. In 2019, she was appointed the Henry E. Singleton Professor of Urology at UCLA, recognizing her decades of service to veterans.

Additionally, the urology clinic at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been renamed the Carol J. Bennett Urology Clinic, a fitting tribute to her lasting legacy.

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