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American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons

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Women in Orthopaedics Study Shows Athletics as Pathway to Specialty

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A study published as a Guest Editorial in Healio’s Orthopedics, “Barriers to Women Entering Field of Orthopedic Surgery” by Emily K. Miller, BA and Dawn M. LaPorte, MD examined data from a survey of 777 members of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society and oral history interviews. The authors concluded that “women are more underrepresented in orthopedics than in any other specialty. Athletics is the most common way in which young women are initially exposed to the field, and the majority of female orthopedic surgeons (84%) reported having played competitive sports. Survey respondents reported less exposure to orthopedics in medical school than to other specialties, which may be an important barrier to the recruitment of women. Lack of sufficient female role models in the field also impairs recruitment.” Full study.

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  1. Taylor Parker says

    Thanks for this post about women and orthopedics. I had to go see an Orthopedic surgeon a few weeks ago as a follow up when I dislocated my shoulder. I was playing lacrosse when the accident happened, and it was quite possibly the most painful experience of my life. The doctor was very thorough, and we had a lot of time to talk about how I sustained the injury. She mentioned that she played lacrosse in high school as well, and that she had always been interested in sports related injuries. I think it’s interesting that you mentioned sports is usually an in for most female orthopedic doctors. It must be a really hard challenge to face if that’s the industry you are wanting to get into.