Of all the medical and surgical subspecialties, orthopedic surgery historically has had the lowest percentage of women and minorities. Mayo Clinic's orthopedic surgery department is working to change that. In the summer of 2021, two female medical students participated in an eight-week clinical and research internship in orthopedic surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The program was developed by Nth Dimensions, an organization that seeks to bring more women and minorities into the profession.
"I think it's important to have more women, more people of color and diversity overall in orthopedic surgery for several reasons," says Dr. Kelechi R. Okoroha, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon and an Nth Dimensions scholar. "Our population in America is very diverse. I think our patients deserve an equally diverse group of surgeons who are each equipped naturally with different cultural competencies to help treat them. Additionally, diversity in our surgeons will help decrease some of the inequalities you see in health care and treatment of patients today."
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Okoroha discusses his journey to become an orthopedic surgeon and his work as a mentor at Mayo Clinic.