Orthopaedic surgery has traditionally been dominated by men, and even now there is reluctance by women to embrace this speciality. Following a thought-provoking session at the NOA Annual Members’ Conference in October focussed on Women in Orthopaedics, the NOA hosted a lunchtime session to continue the conversation.
- Deborah Eastwood, President of the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA(, Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
- Orla Hennessy, ST4 in Trauma and Orthopaedics, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland.
- Caroline Hing, Consultant Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Joanna Thomas, Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust & Associate Medical Director at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS FT.
NOA Webinar Lead and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at RJAH, Cormac Kelly, chaired the session. Cormac kicked off with an overview of the issue and introduced the speakers. Orla, winner of the Core Trainee Prize 2021 for her essay “A Woman Like Me” gave an overview of her essay and shared her honest experiences as a trainee.
Deborah opened her slot sharing that “I never thought I would be a surgeon – let alone an orthopaedic surgeon”. She continued that for women in orthopaedics things are changing for the better – but change is slow. It’s going to take a while but we’re getting there. Deborah insisted that as women make progress in orthopaedics and we go through that door, we must bring others with us – that includes all the other underrepresented groups in orthopaedics.
Caroline shared her personal experience of being a Woman in Orthopaedics and Joanna highlighted that we need allies and role models that take trainee women in orthopaedics seriously. “Surgeons that give them exposure are so important – we must be welcoming and ensure that everyone feels included” she said.
An engaging question and answer session followed the main presentations before Cormac closed the session which one attendee said had speakers that were, “All excellent and engaging” while another said “Good to hear thoughts from a young surgeon in training, a younger consultant colleagues and the BOA position on this issue.”
The full recording can be viewed here.
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