AANA aims to promote diversity and inclusion in orthopedics with new course


September 07, 2022

4 minute read


Disclosures: AANA reports receiving financial support from DePuy Synthes.

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While nearly 50.2% of medical students belong to historically underrepresented groups, only 25.6% pursue an orthopedic residency, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2020 Physician Specialty Data report.

The report also showed that only 5.8% of all practicing orthopedic surgeons in the United States are women and published literature has shown that approximately 15% of orthopedic residents are women, although women make up 53 .5% of applicants to medical schools granting medical doctorates in the year 2019. to the 2020 application cycle.

Diverse group of healthcare professionals talking
Source: Adobe Stock

Brian J.Cole

BRamong othersnJ. Cole

“The transition point [of those underrepresented in medicine] seems to be in medical school“, BRamong othersnJ. ColeMD, MBA, FAANA, former president of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, told Healio. “Where we do well in medical school by gender and ethnicity, we do less well when it comes to choosing surgery as their area of ​​expertise as they progress through their training. medical.”


To promote diversity and inclusion within the orthopedic community, AANA has announced a semester-long course series titled “The Future Scope: Introduction to Orthopedics and Arthroscopy,” which is aimed at undergraduate and graduate medical students. second year likely to be interested in orthopedics and who are female. or underrepresented groups.

James W. Stone

James W Rock

“Obviously, once young people are already in their residence, it’s an inefficient time to start approaching them. Doctors, in general, do not change residence often. So the most important time when we could expect to have an impact is the first and second year of medical school, when students are trying to figure out what area of ​​medicine they want to specialize in,” James W RockMD, FAANA, president of the AANA, said. “This would be the most likely time to have a positive influence on students and encourage them to develop an interest in orthopedic surgery when they would not normally have thought of it.”

According to an AANA press release, the first class will take place on October 1, 2022 at MERCI Medical Lab in Park Ridge, Illinois, and is open to first- and second-year medical students in the Chicago area.

Mark H. Getelman

Mark H Getelman

“We’re reaching out to medical schools in the Chicago area…and we’re going to encourage those who are underrepresented to attend,” Mark H GetelmanMD, FAANA, AANA’s outgoing president, Healio said.

The daily life of orthopedic surgeons

Featuring a diverse and influential faculty, sources who spoke with Healio said the Future Scope course will highlight the impact of orthopedics in medicine and the daily lives of orthopedic surgeons.

“It’s not just the day job, but it’s everything around it, including family, business, the academic and practical side of being an orthopedic surgeon, regardless of your ethnic background or of your orientation,” Cole said. .

Stone added that panel members will also discuss how they became interested in orthopedics as a profession.

“Not only arthroscopy, which is our association’s specialty, but also representatives from spine, sports, arthroplasty and others,” Stone told Healio. “These will include several female orthopedic surgeons as well as others who are underrepresented in medicine so participants can see how they got started in orthopedics and what influenced their decision.”

Getelman noted that the breakout sessions will include discussions on different types of practice, including academic, private and hospital employment, as well as the nonoperative side of orthopedics. Other topics of discussion will cover the splint and cast, the use of biologics, the intersection of orthopedics and physical therapy, and orthopedic research, according to Stone.

Practical simulation, cadaver course

In addition to panel discussions, the course will include a hands-on component where participants will have the opportunity to work with simulators and cadavers, according to Mary K MulcaheyMD, FAANA, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisor and AANA Board Member.

Mary K. Mulcahey

Mary K Mulcahey

“There will be stations where they will shoot both in the virtual component and in a 2-hour cadaver lab where they will see certain procedures demonstrated,” Mulcahey told Healio. Participants will have the opportunity to train with an arthroscope and perform open surgical procedures, such as open reduction and internal fixation for an ankle fracture, she said.

Finally, Getelman noted that the Future Scope course will include a diversity lecture by Eric W. Carson, MD, FAAOS, FAOA, on the challenges he faced as a black man going through the training process. in orthopaedics, as well as a lecture by Monica Kogan. , MD, on how to apply for orthopedic residency programs and what orthopedic programs expect of applicants.

“One of the takeaways is that orthopedics is a sub-specialty worth considering and we are a welcoming community trying to encourage better diversity,” Getelman said. “We recognize that orthopedic surgery is probably the subspecialty with the biggest gaps, and we’re trying to do our part to change that.”

Permanent offer

Mulcahey added that another goal of the Future Scope course is for participants to begin to network within orthopedics.

“There will be many orthopedic professors in different subspecialties of the field, many of whom are already leaders in orthopedics,” Mulcahey said. “So it’s a great opportunity for students to start building that network, looking for shadowing opportunities, possibly taking classes in the future, getting letters of recommendation. [and] to do research. So those are definitely all things that we hope they take away.

With the second Future Scope course scheduled for November 5, 2022 in Raynham, Massachusetts, AANA plans to continue this course for the next 3 years.

“If we see that this course, by year three, moves the needle, then hopefully we can establish it as a permanent AANA offering that will become known as the way to help foster the growth of diversity, equity and inclusion in our sub-specialty,” said Getelman.


The AANA announces a series of semester courses for underrepresented medical students. https://www.aana.org/aanaimis/Members/News/AANA-Announces-a-Biannual-Course-Series-for-Underrepresented-Medical-Students.aspx?WebsiteKey=10f6eed0-bcab-4019-8f57-18dad8aaf2d7. Published May 23, 2022. Accessed August 25, 2022.

Onuoha AC, et al. J Experience and innovation in orthopedics. February 2022. Comparative analysis of racial and gender diversity among orthopedic surgery candidates and residents from 2007 and 2019.

Van Heest A, et al. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2021;doi:10.2106/JBJS.OA.20.00157.

VanHeest A. Iowa Orthop J. 2020;40:1-4.

Women in medical school: see the latest record numbers. https://www.ama-assn.org/education/medical-school-diversity/women-medical-schools-dig-latest-record-breaking-numbers#:~:text=During%20the%202019%E2%80 %932020%20ask,the%20number%20of%20students%20registering. Published September 29, 2021. Accessed August 25, 2022.


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