As an accomplished physician, professor, and chair of the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Patricia Simmons is actively involved in national health policy and a strong advocate for young women’s health. Her innovative work in medicine and research, combined with her passion for teaching others, has made her one of the world’s best authorities on adolescent gynecology and breast disorders.
“She stopped a lot of bad surgery in the field of pediatric and adolescent gynecology through her widespread lecturing and research,” said Dr. Robert Jacobson, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic. “It was her research that dramatically improved the lives of numerous girls.”
Regularly named one of the “Best Doctors in America,” Simmons was one of the first female leaders at Mayo Clinic and continues to mentor others across the country.“ Simmons is a confident role model for others because she demonstrates that she’s willing to go where others have not gone before,” said Jacobson. “She was the first to come out in a new area of medicine and take charge of the issues facing young women. Before her, we didn’t have an expert in pediatric and adolescent gynecology.”
The combination of Simmons’ love of medicine and working with people shines through in all that she does in the clinic, classroom, and the greater community. She has earned numerous teaching and research awards, including being named one of the “Hundred Most Influentials” by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine in 2008. She has continued to advocate and teach others locally and across the globe in under-served areas of the United States, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East.
In 2009, Simmons was named to the University of Minnesota board of regents for the second time by the Minnesota State Legislature.
Her leadership efforts also helped the University of Minnesota establish a full campus in Rochester. “You need people who have a real deep commitment to the core basic values that have made our democratic society work,” said Dr. Robert Bruininks, president of the University of Minnesota. “She is one of those rare leaders who knows what the right thing is to do and the best course of action to follow. She has the conviction to see it through in the face of adversity.”
Simmons has served on the executive committee of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors at Mayo Clinic, as well as the chair of the executive board of Mayo Medical Ventures. In addition, she has also served as elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, trustee of the University of Minnesota Foundation, president of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, president of the Northwest Pediatric Society, volunteer in public schools, and is a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable.
Simmons received her bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, magna cum laude, and a medical doctorate from the University of Chicago. She completed her residency and fellowship at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.