Women in Orthopedics?

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21 years 3 months ago - 21 years 3 months ago #30815 by orthodoc
Women in Orthopedics? was created by orthodoc
Global user
(6/21/00 12:01:31 pm)

As a female applying for orthopedic surgery I hear many strange things about how my sex will affect my
chances. Any thoughts? How about programs that like or dont like women.
Unregistered User
(6/21/00 5:08:11 pm)
Women Applicants

There are few women applicants in orthopedic surgery. You will match somewhere for sure, unless you
don't have the grades or letters. However, some programs are boys clubs and some are not. Make sure
you take a look around and find out in advance how many women are in each program.
Unregistered User
(6/21/00 6:05:40 pm)
women ortho

It is a tremendous advantage to be a female and apply for ortho. Many programs are desperate to get
women, as they have none. I think this is protective of the progm against potential lawsuits etc.
However, some of the worst surgeons out there are women. I think this is bc of lower selectivity and
otherwise poorly qualified candidates getting a position based on their sex. Oh well.
Global user
(6/22/00 12:52:07 pm)
women orthopods

I think your comments about some of the worst surgeons being female is inappropriate and grossly
sexist. If you can back up that statement with data such as a comparison of OITE scores or board
passage rate based on gender, you may have a point. If you can't, then you should reconsider your
position on the matter.
Unregistered User
(6/22/00 5:52:37 pm)

Oite data is only published internally. Board passage rate per gender, i have not seen. I am willing to bet
it is much lower for women.

My opinion, like most opinions, is ultimately based on gestalt. I have yet to meet a female orthopod who
was 'above average' and that is putting it mildly. I would say 1/3 to 1/2 are even respected for their
abilities by their peers.

I respect yr opinion however.

I am willing to amend mine should my experience dictate otherwise hence.
Local user
(6/22/00 9:35:30 pm)
Re: women

Whoa - I guess this is what it's like to be a minority applying to med school - veiled jealousy ("if you're
halfway decent, you'll match, unlike those of us who have to be perfect" and "hey, I wish I was a one
legged, blind, half black, half eskimo lesbian - then I would have gotten into Hopkins, too") along with
dismissive "they just had to take a couple for diversity, but it's wasted space" comments.
What happened to the good old days when you knew the outlying folks had to be _better_ than average
to make it through all the extra bull@#%$ and barriers?
Just for argument's sake, consider that any surgical specialty is more of an apprenticeship than
something learned from study and realize that talent or hard work alone can't really make up for being
ignored/barely tolerated instead of shown the ropes by those more senior, for being excessively
"protected" and not being allowed to try (and maybe fail) at pushing the envelope of your abilities and for
having to invent the wheel from scratch each time rather than benefiting from being part of a team.
I was told once that Dr. Jacquelin Perry (famous for gait research) "had to" go into research rather than
clinical surgery because of her "difficult" personality. I figured perhaps she just developed that
personality in order to survive as a woman in orthopedics in the 50's.
Anyway, the point is that nurture is as important as nature and that rather than being a pioneer with
arrows in your hat, look for a program where there's some support for the idea that the women in ortho
aren't that different from the men. Ya gotta include 'em as part of the team and give 'em latitude to try
and fail occasionally -just like you do with the boys- to get good results. It's hard enough to do the
residency without the attending always nervously jumping in because they don't trust your ability to
meet a challenge or your fellow residents resenting/excluding you.
Eh, soapbox off. You get the gist.
(PS what about Jo Hannafin? One expects the US Olympic rowing team would not pick a "below average"
orthopedist for a team doc just to be PC...)
Global user
(6/22/00 10:06:26 pm)
food for thought

Hey fiona13, or any other women looking at ortho. Check out the March '98 issue of JBJS article
"Demand Based Assessment of workforce requirements..." In the calculations used, women are assigned
a .85 full time equivalent, while men are 1.0. I believe this assumption is based in part on the fact that if
a woman has children, she is likely to take some time off. When I first read the article, I was dismayed to
see that I was considered .85 of a surgeon. This sort of "institutional assumption" as well as opinions
similar to the ones aired earlier in this forum are part of life, no matter what field you chose. If you want
to be an orthopod and find a program that you fit with, then go for it. You may also want to read JBJS
August '96, it has an obituary for Francesca M. Thompson, MD.
Unregistered User
(6/24/00 2:43:21 pm)
props to guest

Not saying I agree entirely with guestorthoboy, but on this subject he sure seems to have given you
girls a thorough spanking!

Before one of you writes a heartfelt 30 PAGE response, I think your pager is going off...
Unregistered User
(6/25/00 8:14:37 am)
women orthopods

Women in orthopaedic surgery is an evolving concept. I have had the pleasure of working with 5 women
in my program throughout my residency. One has graduated and gone on to one of the best hand
fellowships in the nation. The other four are my colleagues, I look at them no different than the men in
my program. They are all competent surgeons for their level of training and do their share of the floor
work. I realize that not all residencies have as strong of women residents as mine does, but I certainly
disagree with everything that has been said in the above comments. Some clown is "willing to bet" that
women have lower board passage rates---I seriously doubt it. There are plenty of men who fail boards
and get in the bottom 10% on the OITE each year. Until someone can show me some numbers from the
academy on board scores, statements like that are just horse@#%$. Excuse my French. It is true that
women applicants have more opportunities for interviews than an equally qualified man, but that is life
fellas. What has gone on above is a feeding frenzy based on nothing but myth and hearsay.
Global user
(6/25/00 10:54:14 am)
data not "gestalt"

Here are my final thoughts on this matter: read Clinical Ortho & Related Research vol 362 symposium on
minorities in medicine and orthopedics. Its all there, OITE, USMLE, clinical performance in residency and
beyond, even MCAT scores. *warning its 113 pages*

If anyone feels like firing off another round of snide commentary, please read the guidelines for posting
on this forum first, its only one page.
Unregistered User
(6/26/00 2:45:50 pm)
fascinating, really

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Unregistered User
(6/27/00 8:28:50 pm)
Women in Ortho

I'd agree that women are very coveted by programs (my own program was determined to match a
woman this year, and guess what, they did). I don't, however, know if they stink it up any worse than us
guys although one of our women had to repeat a year of residency and one recently dropped out in the
PGY-2 (ortho 1 year). For an interesting (short) article on women and orthopaedics, check out "Academic
Medicine" back in 1998 sometime. The article focuses on factors that limit the number of women in
John Brown
Unregistered User
(6/29/00 10:59:00 am)
Women in Ortho

I disagree with the assumption that women cannot become competent surgeons or that there is a lack of
well trained female surgeons. However, the fact of the matter does remain that surgery as a whole is
boy's club. Nevertheless, at my school a female ortho pgy2 is taking time-off, and a female ortho pgy4 is
repeating next year. The word around the campfire is that the pgy4 can't make appropriate decisions in
the OR.
Unregistered User
(7/4/00 7:04:58 pm)
women in ortho

i am a female trying to get into ortho and feel that i am as qualified as anyone else.
i am aoa, have done research, did lots of rotations, the whole works and did not match
in orthopaedics, when my male counterparts (who may not have been as qualified) did.
Unregistered User
(7/9/00 6:05:39 pm)

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't match, but it's a fate shared by far more male applicants than female
ones. Some things about the match make sense, but far more simply doesn't! Go get 'em next year!
Unregistered User
(7/22/00 5:02:28 pm)
Stats and people

We should not forget basic 2nd year med school statistics. If you have two groups there will be a
difference in any parameter you measure. The key is - is that difference statistically significant. All kinds
of minorities will have different scores but it may not be real.
Registered User
Posts: 1
(12/12/00 9:38:03 am)
women in orthopedics

I am an orthopedic resident and so is my wife. I can honestly say that I reduce wrist better than she
does (got to go, she is entering the room)

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4 days 13 hours ago - 3 days 13 hours ago #39695 by dreppdas
Replied by dreppdas on topic Women in Orthopedics
It is unfortunate that there are relatively few female applicants in the field of orthopedic surgery. However, it is reassuring to know that with the right grades and letters, you should still have the ability to fit the program. It is important to consider the culture and atmosphere of the programs you are applying to. But to clear your head a bit, it's best to take the time to qceleb.com/ and do a little naked actress watching) Some programs may have a more inclusive and female-friendly atmosphere, while others may have a more traditional "boys club" mentality. It is a good idea to research and gather information in advance about the representation of women in each program.
Last edit: 3 days 13 hours ago by dreppdas.

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