Topics in Training   |    
Residents’ Perceptions of Sex Diversity in Orthopaedic Surgery
Jaclyn F. Hill, MD1; Arthur Yule, BS2; David Zurakowski, PhD3; Charles S. Day, MD, MBA2
1 Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail address: jaclynhillmd@gmail.com
2 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. E-mail address for C.S. Day: cday1@bidmc.harvard.edu
3 Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
View Disclosures and Other Information
  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Oct 02;95(19):e144 1-6. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00666
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case



Sex diversity in orthopaedic surgery lags behind other surgical specialties. Women comprise 13.2% of orthopaedic residents and 15% of full-time faculty, despite 47.8% of graduating medical students being women. The purposes of this study were to demonstrate how orthopaedic surgery has been less successful in recruiting women compared with general surgery and to identify the sex-specific factors that influenced orthopaedic surgery residents to choose their specialty.


A search of graduate medical data was performed to compare the recruitment of women into orthopaedic and general surgery. Next, a seven-question survey was e-mailed to 2629 orthopaedic residents by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Questions were formulated to detect why orthopaedic surgery residents chose their specialty. Data were collected over six weeks and responses were analyzed with use of one-tailed t tests to make comparisons of responses on the basis of sex.


The historical data search showed that the percentage of female representation in both orthopaedic and general surgery has increased since 1968, but it has increased significantly faster in general surgery than in orthopaedic surgery (p < 0.0001). Five hundred and twenty-nine (20%) of the 2629 orthopaedic surgery residents who were contacted responded to the survey. Of the respondents, 114 (22%) were female and 415 (78%) were male. Several significant differences were found in the responses between the sexes. These include the timing of the decision to enter orthopaedic surgery and positive influences in choosing orthopaedic surgery as a specialty. Additionally, women, significantly more than men, believed that more of their peers entered general surgery because of greater acceptance by senior faculty in that field (p < 0.0001).


To our knowledge, this study is the first to survey residents on their perceptions of orthopaedic surgery and to identify factors that may hinder the recruitment of women into orthopaedic surgery. Our data show that increased exposure to orthopaedic content during medical school and increased female mentorship may help recruit more women into the orthopaedic surgery workforce.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    Connecticut - Orthopaedic Foundation
    WY - Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County
    LA - Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport