Smith+Nephew Empowers Female Orthopaedic Surgeons

Smith+Nephew is trailblazing a new path for female surgeons with its Orthopaedics for All initiative; a first-of-its-kind global advisory board

Smith+Nephew recently partnered with the Perry Initiative which hosted forty female high school students at Wake Forest School of Medicine to explore hands-on surgery modules and receive mentorship from women surgeons and engineers.

Smith+Nephew, the global medical technology company announces its Orthopaedics for All initiative – a global advisory board established to amplify diversity by building equity, breaking biases, and inspiring inclusion for individuals wishing to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery.

The disparity of women in the field of orthopedic surgery compared to men is staggering. According to multiple studies, only 15% of all orthopedic residents were women and just 7.4% were practicing orthopedic surgeons in the United States during 2022. Several factors may contribute to this inequity including greater vulnerability to work-family conflict, less supportive references than their male counterparts, and less national research funding compared to men. Smith+Nephew aims to address these long-standing challenges headfirst and help set new standards in patient-centric care.

Board member Dr. Jessica Hooper, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford Health Care commented, “Orthopaedics for All, to me, means giving everybody a voice in our field and direction on where we’re going in the future.”

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The Smith+Nephew Orthopaedics for All global advisory board is comprised of approximately twenty leading female key opinion leaders and surgeons in the adult hip and knee orthopedic reconstruction segment and includes representatives from all over the world. Board members must have a minimum of two years post-fellowship experience in reconstructive surgery, a mix of both academic and private practice experience, and an interest in gender diversity and inclusion initiatives. Orthopedics for All will also drive awareness in the greater orthopedic surgeon community around the technical skills and competence female orthopedic surgeons possess.

Smith+Nephew is trailblazing a new path for female surgeons with its Orthopaedics for All initiative; a first-of-its-kind global advisory board

Smith+Nephew’s Chief Human Resource Officer Elga Lohler commented, “There is meaningful data that supports the case for increased diversity within medicine and more broadly the medical device industry. Diversifying our workforce is not just critical to improving employee engagement and retention, which directly impacts business growth and profitability, but diversity in medicine can also help reduce healthcare disparity and improve patient outcomes. Our Orthopaedics for All global advisory board has been established to truly understand the needs of a more diverse customer group so that we can build sustainable strategies that address rapidly evolving customer needs.”

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Board member Ms. Chloe Scott, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Edinburgh Orthopaedic Specialists, UK explained, “I’m really excited to be a part of Orthopaedics for All. I think Smith+Nephew has gone a step further than the other companies in terms of actually being proactive to improve engagement with women in arthroplasty, which is really refreshing to see.”

Smith+Nephew recently partnered with the Perry Initiative which hosted forty female high school students at Wake Forest School of Medicine to explore hands-on surgery modules and receive mentorship from women surgeons and engineers. The Perry Initiative inspires young women to be leaders in orthopedic surgery and engineering by partnering with medical centers, universities, and high schools across the US.

“The Smith+Nephew Orthopaedics for All advisory board gives women in arthroplasty a voice and a wonderful chance to contribute to the field of arthroplasty, much like the Perry Initiative gives opportunities to individuals interested in engineering and orthopedics,” commented Antonia F. Chen, MD, Chief of Arthroplasty and Joint Reconstruction, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School.

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