By Casey Tingle
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Despite lack of role models and exposure to orthopedics, women currently practicing orthopedics were attracted to the field due to its nature and their personal attributes, according to a poster presented at the American Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting.
“Most of our responders chose orthopedics because the nature of the field and work attracted them, despite a lack of early exposure to the field and a lack of mentorship,” Rachel S. Rohde, MD, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “Women continue to account for only 4% of AAOS [American Orthopaedic Association] members and 13% of orthopedic residents, and we propose that creating opportunities for early exposure to orthopedic surgery and for mentorship will help close this gender gap.”
Rohde and colleagues sent a 21-question survey formulated to determine demographics, practice patterns and lifestyle choices of women who chose orthopedic surgery as a specialty to 556 active, candidate and resident member of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society. The researchers evaluated the respondents’ decisions about their career and their opinions of why more women do not choose orthopedics.