It takes a special amount of drive and determination to carve a path to a successful career, especially if you’re a woman and that career is in a traditionally male-dominated field. Inspiring young women to pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery and engineering is what the Perry Initiative is all about, and on Saturday, January 14, the remains of a historic snowstorm couldn’t keep 22 female high school students from coming to Acumed for their Perry Initiative program.
The Perry Initiative was founded in 2009 by Dr. Jenni Buckley, a mechanical engineer, and Dr. Lisa Lattanza, an orthopaedic surgeon. The program is named in honor of the late Dr. Jacquelin Perry, who was one of the first 10 female orthopaedic surgeons in the country and was highly regarded as a mentor to both men and women throughout her career. Participants from high schools, universities, and medical schools get the opportunity to perform mock orthopaedic surgeries and conduct biomechanical engineering experiments, while also hearing from female engineers and surgeons in the field. To date, the number of young women who have participated in the program is 5883.
During their visit to Acumed on January 14, the young women started their day by listening to two female Acumed engineers talk about how they got started in their field and their role in designing and producing Acumed’s orthopaedic implants . Then the students participated in mock orthopaedic surgeries, suturing pigs’ feet and wielding the same power tools that orthopaedic surgeons use to practice installing screws and plates into bone models. In the afternoon, two surgeons from OHSU, Yee Doung, MD and Elizabeth Lieberman, MD, shared their perspective of what it’s like to be a female surgeon. The students also participated in creative problem solving throughout the day’s activities.
One of the participants shared on her application: “In our society I believe that it is important for women to follow their passions as far as their education and career choices, rather than falling into the flow of what is expected of them. It would be very cool to have the opportunity to be a part of this.” (She was accepted into the program.)
Acumed has been a sponsor of the Perry Initiative since 2011 and has hosted an outreach program for the past four years. Acumed looks forward to hosting another Perry Initiative program in 2018. Learn more about the program at http://perryinitiative.org/.
Acumed LLC is a global leader of innovative orthopaedic implant solutions. Founded in 1988, Acumed is headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon, with offices and a distribution network around the world. Acumed is dedicated to developing products, service methods, and approaches that improve patient care. For more information, please visit www.acumed.net.
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