Margaret Metcalf, M.D.

Dr. Margaret Metcalf accepting her Distinguished Alumna Award from Dr. Prabhakar Baliga and Dr. H. Biemann Othersen
Dr. Margaret Metcalf accepts her award during a dinner in her honor.

Margaret Metcalf, M.D. holds the distinction of being the first female graduate from the MUSC Surgical Residency Program.

Dr. Metcalf graduated from medical school at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, where she was one of seven female graduates in a class of 104.She entered surgical residency at MUSC in 1973, where she was accepted into the plastic surgery fellowship at the same time she was accepted as an intern.When she entered MUSC, there were no women faculty, no women role models. Her mentors were the men who were her advisors.

With no female role models at the time, and spending so much time with her male counterparts, she and her fellow residents bonded through residency and remained close throughout their careers.“When I started my residency at MUSC, there were no female call rooms. Even the dictation rooms were in the men’s dressing room, which is probably why the guys and I were such good friends,” chuckles Dr. Metcalf.

She doesn’t recall any other hardship during her residency.In fact, she remembers quite fondly the bond she developed with her residency classmates, Ken Shull and Joe Cullom.“They looked out for me,” she recalls fondly. “Treated me as an equal, but also as a sister. It felt good.”

One colleague in particular, Price Cameron, M.D. stands out. The friendship that began in residency, strengthened in fellowship training, and continued throughout their careers.Price and I started our internships at the same time and completed our plastic surgery fellowships together as well,” comments Dr. Metcalf.“We both chose to go into private practice solo but covered for each other. In a way, it was almost like we were partners throughout training and our careers.” 

Dr. Metcalf graduated general surgery residency in 1978 and completed her plastic surgery fellowship in 1980.

Upon graduation, she entered private practice in Charleston, where she built a successful career that covered a span of 36 years. She was a member of the Charleston County Medical Society, American Society of Plastic Surgery and the Medical Society of South Carolina.

Dr. Metcalf retired from private practice in 2016 and remains active in various organizations in Charleston, most notably her continuing membership in the Widows and Orphans Society. She has one grown son, Christian, who also resides in Charleston.

While Dr. Metcalf doesn’t consider herself to be a trailblazer at MUSC (she leaves that distinction to Carolyn Reed!), she certainly paved the way for women in surgery at MUSC.

Recognizing her contribution to advancing women in surgical residency at MUSC and her exceptional contributions to the field of surgery, Dr. Metcalf is the recipient of the 2018 H. Biemann Othersen, Jr., MD Distinguished Alumna Award.