Dr. Kristen Sihler is the new Trauma Medical Director at Maine Medical Center, the first woman to hold the top job overseeing the hospital’s emergency services.

Sihler, 44, has been a surgeon at Maine Medical Center since 2010, and was previously the attending surgeon at the University of Michigan’s hospital.

Sihler said one of her goals for the trauma center is to build stronger connections and offer training programs for Maine’s regional hospitals, which often send trauma patients to Maine Medical.

She said some of the more rural hospitals rarely see trauma patients, so the better prepared they are when one arrives, the smoother the transition will be when the patients are transferred to Maine Medical. Sihler also said fostering better communication and relationships with the regional hospitals will reap benefits for everyone.

“We want to be a flagship trauma center in the New England states,” Sihler said.

Sihler said while more women are working in emergency departments, stereotypes persist. However, she said she hasn’t seen chauvinistic attitudes at Maine Medical.

“Maine Med is a very progressive institution, and being a female surgeon at Maine Med isn’t an issue at all,” Sihler said.

Sihler, who lives in South Portland with her family, belongs to the American College of Surgons and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.

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