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B.O.N.E.S initiative seeks to inspire young women to pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery

Now in its third year, the B.O.N.E.S (Bringing Orthopedics to New England Students of Medicine) Initiative is a half-day event hosted by the women of the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program that provides networking opportunities, inspiration and hands-on experience with orthopaedics for female medical students from all around New England.

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Chief of Orthopaedics Dr. Brandon Earp is among the organizers. She says, “The goal is to show female medical school students what we do and hopefully interest them in pursuing a similar career path.”

Orthopaedics is a traditionally male-dominated specialty, but Dr. Earp says that’s changing. “There is a perception that you need to be big and strong to be an orthopaedic surgeon. I like to think it’s more about being smart and thoughtful and using finesse rather than brawn,” explains Dr. Earp.

The B.O.N.E.S. Initiative, to be held on Saturday, May 12, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is designed to show young women how rewarding a career in orthopaedic surgery can be. “During the main part of the day, we have them practice suturing on pigs’ feet, do splinting and casting, use the drills and put in hardware that we would use for fracture patients. We also have them do reconstructive techniques for sports injuries. It’s all designed to give them a broad picture of the different procedures we do,” says Dr. Earp. “There have traditionally been fewer female role models in our specialty so we’ve built in time for a Q&A session where we can share with these young women the stories of our careers and answer their questions. We’re trying to be those role models and show young women that they can do this too.”

For Dr. Earp, it’s all about inspiring and encouraging the next generation to make a difference in the lives of patients. “As an orthopaedic surgeon, you have the opportunity to improve your patients’ quality of life. As opposed to many fields in medicine where you are managing or controlling chronic disease, many times in orthopaedics you are dealing with acute incidents for defined periods of time in people’s lives and you can make an appreciable difference for them in a relatively short time frame. Many of us find that very rewarding.”

Save the Date!

The women of the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency Program invite all female medical students in New England to the B.O.N.E.S. Initiative (Bringing Orthopedics to New England Students of medicine) on Saturday, May 12, from 7 am to 1 pm at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Betsy Casey.

B.O.N.E.S. Initiative


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