A Plausible Pipeline to Diversifying Orthopaedics: Premedical Programming

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine whether premedical programming can address the interest level and perception of barriers to women in orthopaedics held by female high school and medical students. DESIGN: A thirteen-question paper-based survey was distributed among the high school and medical school participants prior to the January 2020 Perry Outreach Program and Medical Student Outreach Program. After a day of participation in mock procedures and speaker sessions, participants subsequently completed another survey of seven-questions. SETTING: The Perry Outreach Program and Medical Student Outreach Program were conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus. PARTICIPANTS: Participants consisted of high school and medical school women hailing from the Birmingham metropolitan area, who had signed up for the Perry programs via email, outreach to local high schools, and social media interest pages. Participant sampling was stratified by race and level of education (high school vs. medical school). RESULTS: A total of 36 women, 18 high school and 18 medical school, attended the Perry Initiative events and responded to the pre-event and post-event surveys. Before the Perry Initiative programs, all participants felt women faced more barriers than men in pursuing a career in orthopaedics. Participation in the Perry Initiative event increased average interest in orthopaedics by 28% among high school and 11% among medical school students. CONCLUSIONS: Prior to the Perry Initiative, 31% percent of the total attendees reported knowing a female orthopaedist. The Perry Initiative improved perceptions of both high school and medical students regarding the ability of women to have a work/life balance, family life, and children during orthopaedics residency. Medical student participation in the events led to a decreased belief in barriers regarding schedule, family life, perceptions of an orthopaedic surgeon, and perceptions of peers within healthcare setting.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Coffin MD; Collins CS; Dib AG; Matzkin EG; Gould SJ
  • Start Page

  • 122
  • End Page

  • 128
  • Volume

  • 79
  • Issue

  • 1