Women’s Work: Overcoming gender barriers in lower extremity specialties

Lower Extremity Review—October 31, 2016

Reporter Emily Delzell writes that it has not been easy for women to succeed in traditionally male-dominated roles in lower extremity healthcare. While the gender demographics have shifted toward parity over time, challenges still remain.

She interviews several women role models in the field including Jo A. Hannafin, MD, sports medicine surgeon at HSS, who was encouraged by a male surgeon to go into orthopedics even after she had already ruled out that specialty during a medical school rotation. 

"He taught me how to suture and how to assist in the operating room," Dr. Hannafin said. "He just poured his energy into me, and at the end of the month said something very telling that I’ll never forget: ‘You could be good at this.’ After watching him in his practice I thought, he has so much fun doing what he does. He’s taking care of athletes all day, and he’s solving their problems."

In 2013, Dr. Hannafin was named the first woman president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). The article notes that Dr. Hannafin's group at HSS (including 4 female orthopedic surgeons) gives younger women who are interested in the profession a chance to see examples of women striking a good balance in diverse ways.

To read the full article, please visit LERMagazine.com. This was also the cover story of the October 2016 print issue.


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