VOLUME 1 | Issue 2 | September 2020

OUR PURPOSE Global collaboration to advance the inclusion of women

& under-represented minorities in Orthopaedic Surgery


Our thoughts are with all those who are affected by Covid-19. The shutdowns have amplified gender & racial inequities and advocacy in equal measure. The explosion of videoconferencing has enhanced communication and networking of orthopaedic societies across the world, providing unprecedented opportunities to promote diversity & inclusion. The recent Traumacon hosted by the Indian OA & Australian OA had almost 65,000 delegates. We are negotiating with the Australian OA to host the proposed IODA webinar series. ISAKOS and the BOA have recently launched Diversity initiatives. IODA members, Mary K. Mulcahey, & Laurie A. Hiemstra’s article in this edition explains the ISAKOS Diversity Task Force.


International diversity initiatives - what is working & what can we do better?

  • The important role of male advocacy in advancing women in orthopaedics.

  • Cultural diversity in orthopaedics - an imperative for equitable health care.

  • LGBTQIA+ in orthopaedics - why inclusion matters.

  • Age & wisdom in orthopaedics - the power of sharing knowledge between our junior & senior surgeons.

  • Indigenous surgeons - what is needed to encourage our Indigenous doctors into orthopaedics?

  • Orthopaedics as a global health care priority - how to support developing nations?

  • Parenting in orthopaedics - what can we do to support orthopaedic families?

  • Pregnancy & breastfeeding as an orthopaedic surgeon - why is this still an issue?

  • Two professional partnerships – the career balancing act.


In 2021/2022 the Presidents of the American, Australian, British & Canadian Orthopaedic Associations shall all be women. An unprecedented event in the English-speaking associations.

Above: Annette Holian(AuOA), Deborah Eastwood (BOA), Laurie Hiemstra (COA) and Serena Hu (AmOA).

The Australian OA has established a Cultural Inclusion Working Group including the most senior Indigenous orthopaedic trainee who shall soon be the first Indigenous Australian Orthopaedic Surgeon. It is a great reflection of Australia’s multicultural population.

The American Orthopaedic Association has kindly shared on of the best Gender & Cultural Diversity webinar videos from the 2020 AOA Leadership Meeting among other resources. The video content is excellent and features Jonathan Braman who has recently joined IODA as the moderator of a fabulous panel: Katherine Gerull, Scott E. Porter & Arghavan Salles. Please see the links at the end of the newsletter. The AmOA have agreed to the content being shared provided it is attributed to the AOA.


Mary K. Mulcahey, MD, FAAOS; Laurie A. Hiemstra, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Diversity is essential to create strong and productive organisations, maximizing the strengths and talents of all members of the society. Similarly, a diverse leadership group with unique experiences and perspectives is better able to generate novel ideas and goals, contribute different approaches to an issue, and provide a fresh viewpoint to an organisation.

The society membership statistics were reported in the latest edition of the ISAKOS Newsletter. The data demonstrates that there are currently 2,959 members of ISAKOS, of which 106 or 3.6% are female. There are no women on the Executive Committee or Board of Directors of ISAKOS. There are no female committee chairs. Currently, 11 female members provide representation for a total of 14/250 positions on the various ISAKOS committees. Three of the 26 members serving on the Journal of ISAKOS Editorial Board are women. In the history of the society, only two women have won named research awards at the ISAKOS Congress, four women have been awarded a Patellofemoral Travelling Fellowship, and one has been awarded a Conference Scholarship.

One area of well-earned pride for ISAKOS is its commitment to addressing geographic and cultural diversity. Achieving gender diversity and inclusion presents as the next challenge for societies such as ISAKOS as well as the entire orthopaedic community. Willem van der Merwe, MD and David Parker, MD, along with the Executive Committee of ISAKOS, are aiming to address this challenge. With full support from ISAKOS, the Gender Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has been established and consists of eighteen female members, from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Asia-Pacific. Dr. Laurie Hiemstra is chair of the newly formed Task Force, with Drs. David Parker and Jason Koh serving as Executive liaisons.

Under the leadership of Dr. Hiemstra, the task force will guide ISAKOS in implementing and maintaining gender diversity and inclusion principles.

Dr. Hiemstra is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sport medicine and arthroscopic surgery in Banff, Canada. She is an Executive Committee member of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) and the Arthroscopy Association of Canada (AAC). Dr. Hiemstra was recently elected 2nd President Elect of the COA and will be the first female president of the organisation.

The first goal of the ISAKOS Gender Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is to increase the number of female members and improve engagement by highlighting the lack of gender diversity within the society. Increasing the number of female members and clearly demonstrating inclusivity and acceptance within all areas of ISAKOS will help promote the society’s commitment to improving diversity.

The second goal is to increase female representation in educational activities, the biannual Congress, and executive structure of ISAKOS. The inclusion of a larger number of women in the ISAKOS scientific meetings and bi-annual Congress will create a wider range of ideas and viewpoints, and through this, improved teaching and learning for our members. As Julie Silver, MD, from Harvard University so eloquently says “For any award (or position or lecture or role) in medicine, there are more than zero women who deserve it.”

As with all initiatives, the Gender Diversity and Inclusion Task Force cannot succeed without genuine support from male allies.

The vision of the #heforshe leaders in ISAKOS, Willem van der Merwe, Guillermo Arce, David Parker, Jason Koh, Volker Musahl and Mark Clatworthy, is extremely important. Wokring together towards a stronger, more divers ISAKOS should be the goal of all our members. We urge support, encouragement, and action for this important initiative.



The American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) they have officially endorsed sharing of their resources around diversity, equity, and inclusion in orthopaedics.

  • A reco​rded session from the 2020 AOA Annual Leadership Meeting: “Strategies for Retaining an​d Recruiting Minorities in Orthopaedics”

  • Q&A: More Conversation with Presenters

  • Podcast: Interview with Dr. Gabriella Ode regarding Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Women and Minorities in Orthopaedics.


A governance structure for IODA is currently being developed with the assistance of several members and a draft shall soon be emailed to the entire IODA membership for your feedback. As IODA currently has neither staff nor funding and I have moved both home and practice in the past 2 months, the delay has been unavoidable. Once the governance structure is in place, it is intended that IODA shall seeking funding for general administration of the organization, establishing a website and the proposed webinars.


Please check your details and update on the IODA Google Drive.


Jennifer Green FRACS FAOrthA

Chair, Australian Orthopaedic Association Orthopaedic Women’s Link (OWL)

Australian Orthopaedic Association Cultural Inclusion Working Group

Acknowledging the Ngunnawal People as the traditional owners of the land on which I live and practise. I pay my respects to the elders, past, present and emerging.

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VOLUME 1 | Issue 1 | June 2020

OUR PURPOSE Global collaboration to advance the inclusion of women & under-represented minorities in Orthopaedic Surgery Welcome to the inaugural IODA Newsletter, an update of activities relevant to I