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Sports medicine surgeon Emily J.M. Monroe, M.D., of Heartland Orthopedic Specialists was part of a team that recently investigated gender disparity in the practice of orthopedic surgery. The study, titled “Women in Orthopaedic Surgery: Population Trends in Trainees and Practicing Surgeons,” was recently published as an article in the national, peer-reviewed publication The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2018. 

Through their research, Dr. Monroe and her colleagues, Caitlin Chambers, M.D., Stephanie Ihnow, M.D., and Linda Suleiman, M.D., sought to better understand the levels at which female surgeons are involved in the field of orthopedic surgery and compare overall numbers of female participation in orthopedic surgery programs. Specifically, they looked at the national-level numbers of women in orthopedic academic faculty and female orthopedic residents as well as female membership rates in various American orthopedic subspecialty and research societies. 

The group used data from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for the 2005-2006 to 2016-2017 academic years as well as subspecialty and research society membership demographic analysis. The study found that orthopedic surgery remains the medical specialty with the lowest proportion of female residents at 14.0% in the 2016-2017 academic year. Findings also included that women account for 17.8% of full-time orthopedic faculty at medical schools, lower than all other medical specialties. Additionally, three orthopedic specialty societies accounted for the lowest female membership rates in all specialty societies.

“We concluded that orthopedic surgery has seen a slow increase in the overall number of female residents and female members of academic faculty. The rate of that increase has remained slower than rising female participation rates in other specialty fields,” says Dr. Monroe. “We want to encourage efforts to ensure equity in opportunity and mentorship for women in orthopedics. We believe this can help ensure that the field continues to attract the nation’s top medical graduates.” 

As a fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon, Dr. Monroe has received the highest level of subspecialized academic and clinical education in orthopedics. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed her residency in orthopedic surgery at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. She later underwent additional specialty training through a yearlong sports medicine fellowship at the University of California San Francisco.

To learn more about the sports medicine team at Heartland Orthopedic Specialists or to schedule an appointment, please call (800) 762-1177 or request an appointment online