Ladies in the Bone Room? Addressing the Gender Gap in Orthopaedics

      At the University of Louisville Hospital, the orthopaedic surgery on call room lies unremarkably in a hallway of on-call rooms for surgical subspecialties. At first glance, a stranger would be unlikely to guess which of these is affectionately nicknamed “The Bone Room,” denoting its orthopaedic ownership. The pull-up bar attached to the doorframe could be a hint (as pull-ups are the sine qua non of elite military units and professional male sports), as could the tubs of protein powder, known dietary staple of weightlifters, strewn across the room. However, there are subtle clues that the room is occupied by more than just the stereotypical white male whose presence dominates the reputation of American orthopaedics. A Peloton™ exercise bike (Peloton Interactive, Inc., New York, NY, USA) nestled in the corner, a windowsill full of thriving plants, and leaded aprons with patterned trim allude to the gender diversity seen within our residency program. The Bone Room acts as a microcosm of the field of American orthopaedic surgery–at first glance, there appear to be significant strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Yet on closer look, the field shows a lack of these ideals, especially from the perspective of gender. Globally, women have minimal participation in orthopaedic surgery whereas men represent over 95% of all orthopaedic surgeons worldwide [
      • Hiemstra LA
      • Kerslake S
      • Clark M
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      • Boynton E.
      Experiences of Canadian Female Orthopaedic Surgeons in the Workplace: Defining the Barriers to Gender Equity.
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