AOA Critical Issues: Gender Justice in Academic Medicine: What It Might Look Like in Orthopaedic Surgery

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The Journal of bone and joint surgery


As the number of women entering medicine has increased, so has the number of women entering orthopaedics; however, many orthopaedic programs struggle to create an equitable space for women, particularly in leadership. Struggles experienced by women include sexual harassment and gender bias, lack of visibility, lack of well-being, disproportionate family care responsibilities, and lack of flexibility in the criteria for promotions. Historically, sexual harassment and bias has been a problem faced by women physicians, and often the harassment continues even when the issue has been reported; many women find that reporting it results in negative consequences for their career and training. Additionally, throughout medical training, women are less exposed to orthopaedics and lack the mentorship that is given to their colleagues who are men. The late exposure and lack of support prevent women from entering and advancing in orthopaedic training. Typical surgery culture can also result in women orthopaedic surgeons avoiding help for mental wellness. Improving well-being culture requires systemic changes. Finally, women in academics perceive decreased equality in promotional considerations and face leadership that already lacks representation of women. This paper presents solutions to assist in developing equitable work environments for all academic clinicians.

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ePub ahead of print