Bringing Young Women to Orthopaedics and Engineering: WFBH Orthopaedics and The Perry Initiative
With a goal of bringing young women into the fields of orthopaedic
surgery and engineering, Wake Forest Baptist Health and The Perry
Initiative recently teamed up to give a 2 day workshop that introduces young women
to the tools of orthopaedics.
The Perry Initiative was brought to Wake Forest Biotech Place on February 6-7, 2015, by Drs. Cynthia
Emory and Anna Miller, assistant professors in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Wake Forest School of Medicine and Kerry Danelson, PhD, assistant
professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering.
During the 2 days of the workshop, medical students and high
school students used bone saws, learned suturing techniques, implanted femoral
nails, used arthroscopic cameras, along with many other orthopaedic techniques
“I think the
lectures and the hands on session were both interesting and fun,“ says Danelson. “ I
enjoyed talking with the participants in the small groups during the hands on
portion because they had really great questions.”
Initiative runs hands-on, in depth training sessions aimed at introducing young
women to the tools and methods of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering -- fields with historically low numbers of female professionals. Women
comprise only 12% of orthopaedic faculty and 7% of practicing orthopedists
across the country, according to the Perry Initiative website.
"The goal is to educate young women about careers in engineering and orthopaedic
surgery early in their education, with the long-term goal of increasing the
number of women who enter engineering fields and orthopaedic surgery,” Miller
“I think it is
helpful for these young women to see women that have been successful,” says
Danelson. “I also think it is useful for
us to tell them that if they are interested in their careers they can be
successful if they work hard.
Jenni Buckley, Ph.D., an assistant professor of mechanical
engineering at the University of Delaware, and Lisa Lattanza, M.D., a
board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and associate professor of orthopaedic
surgery at the University of California at San Francisco, founded the