OrthoAtlanta Susan Jordan MD and Sharrona Williams MD Participate in Perry Initiative Encouraging Young Women to Pursue Careers in Orthopedics
ATLANTA, GA, NOVEMBER 22, 2016 –
While girls and young women continue to excel in school in science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM programs, encouraging them to enter traditionally male-dominated medical fields remains a challenge. Fields like orthopedic medicine, the study of bones, joints and muscles, finds itself significantly under-represented, with reportedly only 7 percent of today’s practicing orthopedists being women, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
A nationally-recognized nonprofit, The Perry Initiative, is building a pipeline to careers in orthopedic surgery and engineering for high school and college-aged women. When The Perry Initiative brought its hands-on training program to Atlanta, GA, on November 18 and 19, OrthoAtlanta, orthopedics and sports medicine specialists, was proud to lend a hand.
OrthoAtlanta orthopedic surgeons Susan S. Jordan, MD, specializing in sports medicine, and Sharrona S. Williams, MD, specializing in foot and ankle surgery, joined nearly a half-dozen other like-minded career professionals, to provide insights, tips, hands-on training and encouragement to more than thirty high school students from across the state of Georgia who were eager to learn more about careers in orthopedics.
Named for Dr. Jacquelin Perry, one of the first female orthopedic surgeons in the United States, the Perry Initiative was founded in 2009 by Dr. Jenni Buckley, a mechanical engineer, and Dr. Lisa Lattanza, an orthopaedic surgeon. The nonprofit runs some 40-day-long outreach programs nationwide, aimed at inspiring young women to be leaders in engineering and the specialized medical field of orthopedic surgery. The Perry Initiative provides young women with needed exposure to a range of career options, access to women excelling in these fields, and confidence to apply their own diverse interests and unique life experiences into successful careers as orthopedic surgeons or engineers.
During the hands-on training, OrthoAtlanta’s Dr. Susan Jordan guided students in the basics of suturing wounds. Dr. Jordan detailed the stitch or suture types and the intricacies in knotting techniques. During a segment of the day-long session focused on educational training and testing, Dr. Jordan was quick to share with the students, “Whereas the many levels of testing may seem intimidating, preparation is key to your success, as is learning to pace yourself. With this, you can achieve your goal to be an orthopedic surgeon.”
Dr. Sharrona Williams, also with OrthoAtlanta, guided students in urgent fracture care, including the use of power tools, addressing broken bones, and stabilizing injuries until they can be set. Dr. Williams stated, “I am excited to be a part of the Perry Initiative, a program encouraging young women and giving them a hands on exposure to the field of orthopedic surgery. These early interactions with successful female Orthopaedic surgeons may provide the confidence they need to pursue a male-dominated career path. It is a privilege to participate in shaping these bright young minds.”
Dr. Jordan and Dr. Williams both serve patients at OrthoAtlanta’s Newnan and Fayetteville locations. Dr. Williams also sees patients at the Stockbridge location.