New Orleans, LA—March 6, 2018
A paper published in the February issue of AAOS Now addresses one of the biggest challenges facing women considering a career in orthopedic surgery. The article, by Karen Sutton, MD, and colleagues at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Tulane University, focuses on concerns about pregnancy as a potential deterrent to women considering an orthopedic surgery residency.
"Roughly half of medical students are now women," said Dr. Sutton, a sports medicine surgeon at HSS. "In contrast, orthopedic surgery residency programs have lagged behind other subspecialties in recruiting women. Only 14 percent of orthopedic residents and 6 percent of active AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery) fellows are female. It’s important to address the factors that can be modified to reduce gender disparity within the field."
The article discusses several concerns of female orthopedic surgeons with respect to child-bearing, including the timing of pregnancy and potential occupational hazards. The authors also recommend precautions that can be taken.
"We believe that with appropriate planning, rates of pregnancy-related complications can be reduced," said Dr. Sutton. "The use of personal protective equipment, lead aprons, and dosimeters that measure radiation may decrease rates of occupational exposures. Planning with regard to rotation and call distribution may reduce rates of preterm labor and preeclampsia."
Dr. Sutton urges more research and leadership interest to address concerns and attract top talent to the field of orthopedics. The article can be viewed on the AAOS website: https://www.aaos.org/AAOSNow/2018/Feb/Managing/managing01/
About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients from 80 countries and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Innovation Institute was formed in 2015 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices; the global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969, and in 2017 HSS made 130 invention submissions (more than 2x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute provides continuing medical curriculum to more than 15,000 subscribing musculoskeletal healthcare professionals in 110 countries. Through HSS Global, the institution is collaborating with medical centers worldwide to advance the quality and value of care and to make world-class HSS care more accessible to more people.