Working toward more diversity in orthopedic surgery

Jul 9, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara

Of all the medical and surgical subspecialties, orthopedic surgery historically has had the lowest percentage of women and minorities. Mayo Clinic’s orthopedic surgery department is working to change that.

This summer, two female medical students are participating in an eight-week clinical and research internship in orthopedic surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The program was developed by Nth Dimensions, an organization that seeks to bring more women and minorities into the profession.

"I think it's important to have more women, more people of color, and diversity overall in orthopedic surgery for several reasons," says Dr. Kelechi Okoroha, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon and a graduate of Nth Dimensions. "Our population in America is very diverse. I think our patients deserve an equally diverse group of surgeons who are each equipped naturally with different cultural competencies to help treat them. Additionally, diversity in our surgeons will help decrease some of the inequalities you see in health care and treatment of patients today."

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Okoroha, discusses his journey to becoming an orthopedic surgeon and his work as a mentor at Mayo Clinic.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

For more information, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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