July 2021

Committee Chair Column

Social Media Update

Simon Fleming
IODA Executive Committee
Trainee Representative

The International Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance (IODA) was created to advance musculoskeletal healthcare internationally. However, rather than doing so with new drugs, or new implants, we have recognised the undeniable truth. That by promoting equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, around the world, we will create a collaborative, interdisciplinary, orthopaedic workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities, and in turn, we will play our part in eradicating healthcare inequities. 

In the words of social media, TLDR (too long, didn’t read); ‘diversity and inclusion is good for us and good for the patients we care for. So, let’s get it done”. 

But how to do this? How can we “identify, develop, share, support, engage with and advance diversity in all facets of orthopaedic surgery”? One of the main weapons in our arsenal is social media. The use of social media, by patients and healthcare professionals, has never been more widespread, with an estimated 3.96 billion people using social media worldwide. Social media allows us to break down barriers, both geographic, cultural, linguistic and financial. It allows us to reach out into the world and offer help, ask questions and listen. And it allows us to do all of this, with all of you, from our phones. 

As such, we (IODA) have a number of initiatives in play, with more in the pipelines. Currently, we exist digitally on our website, twitter and instagram (@OrthoDiversity), LinkedIn and Facebook. We do not yet have a TikTok page because, basically, I can’t dance. At the moment, we are developing our digital identity, building a community and becoming part of communities that already exist, such as #orthotwitter, #diversity, #HeForShe etc. We share and disseminate work from all round the world, ideas from organisations doing their bit to make culture that bit more equitable and from our global reps, who help us engage with sections of the humanity we might never have been able to engage with otherwise. Mostly, we listen. We listen to the lived experiences of others and we learn. We take on their struggles as our own and we identify other areas where we can empower and support.

The call has gone out for members of the social media committee because we want our content to be as diverse and inclusive as our membership.  From cat gifs to academic papers, from webinars to workshops, social media is allowing us to communicate between various communities in new ways, allowing interaction that both lacks hierarchy and is accessible and equitable.

If you haven’t followed us, come and say hi. If you haven’t joined us, get involved. Our differences make us stronger, so slide into our DMs and let’s change the world.

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