Which Subspecialties Do Female Orthopaedic Surgeons Choose and Why? Identifying the Role of Mentorship and Additional Factors in Subspecialty Choice

Rachel A. Bratescu, Stephanie S. Gardner, Jaclyn M. Jones, Todd E. Siff, Bradley S. Lambert, Joshua D. Harris, Shari R. Liberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background:Limited data exist delineating the reasons women choose subspecialties within orthopaedics.Purpose:(1) To perform a survey that determines subspecialties female orthopaedic surgeons select and (2) to analyze the motivations behind their choices.Methods:A 10-question survey was distributed via e-mail to the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS), Texas Orthopaedic Association (TOA), and to a private internet page for women in Orthopaedics, which covered the area of subspecialty practice, motivations, and demographic data. Practicing female orthopaedic surgeons, fellows, or fellowship-matched residents were included. Respondents' ranked motivations when deciding for or against a subspecialty were analyzed and comparisons made.Results:Of the 304 survey responses, 288 met inclusion criteria. The most common subspecialties were hand (24.0%), pediatrics (22.6%), and sports medicine (16.3%). A higher proportion of younger surgeons are electing to subspecialize in sports medicine, whereas a lower proportion of younger surgeons are pursuing general orthopaedics. Top-ranked reasons for selecting a subspecialty were personal satisfaction (50.8%), intellectual stimulation (42.1%), and strong mentorship (37.4%). The most common reason for not selecting a subspecialty was lack of interest (60.6%).Conclusion:Strong mentorship was the largest extrinsic/modifiable factor that affected the decision-making process. A continued focus on mentorship will be necessary to encourage future female orthopaedic surgeons to enter this field and inspire them to explore a different set of subspecialties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere19.00140
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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