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JBJS Podcast

13. Women in Orthopaedics (with special guests Ann Van Heest and Laurie Hiemstra)

In this episode, Marc and Mo are joined by special guests Ann Van Heest (Professor and Director of Education in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota) and Laurie Hiemstra (Orthopaedic Surgeon at Banff Sport Medicine and soon-to-be President-Elect of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association) in an illuminating discussion on the challenges faced by women in in the field of orthopaedics—and, more importantly, what can be done to address these challenges. This topic was suggested by one of our listeners (Rostanda Meireles, the first woman in the Brazilian Hip Society) via the OrthoJoe mailbag ( The discussion touched on a number of themes: • What systematic disadvantages do women continue to face in orthopaedics? • How do these institutional barriers impact their careers in terms of meeting the requirements for board certification, becoming successful surgeons, obtaining grants and industry support, performing original research, publishing articles, and so on? • How do cultural differences around the world impact women as they try to become established in the field? How can these issues be addressed locally, nationally, and internationally? • How can we address the root causes of the “pipeline” issue, given the fact that 50% of medical students in the US are female, compared with only 15% of orthopaedic surgeons? What has worked, what hasn’t worked, and where should we be focusing our efforts going forward? • How can we drive cultural change for the purpose of increasing the representation of women in positions of leadership within the field? • How can men and non-minority allies lead the charge in fostering meaningful change and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion across our organizations? • Major cultural change comes from above, but grassroot change is equally important. How can we all “walk the talk” in order to make the field of orthopaedics better across the board? OrthoJOE Mailbag: feedback, comments, and suggestions from our audience can be sent to Links: • Van Heest, Ann E. MD; Agel, Julie MA; Samora, Julie Balch MD, PhD. A 15-Year Report on the Uneven Distribution of Women in Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Training Programs in the United States, JBJS Open Access: April-June 2021 - Volume 6 - Issue 2 - e20.00157. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.OA.20.00157. Link. • Scholl E, Badwall HK, Bhandari M. Equity in Surgery: Being Diverse and Inclusive, Isn’t Enough. OE Insights. Sept. 5, 2020. • International Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance: • Women in Orthopaedics Worldwide:

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