Oct 29, 2018 / Research & Innovation
The Perry Initiative
Over the weekend, Scottish Rite for Children hosted 40 young women from high schools in the area, for The Perry Initiative’s exciting, one-day program. The Perry Outreach Program, sponsored by Scottish Rite and UT Southwestern, encourages young women to pursue careers in orthopedic surgery and engineering.
Women currently comprise only 7% of the surgical and engineer workforce in orthopedics. Early exposure to these hands-on careers is key to boosting diversity and introducing fresh eyes and new perspectives for these life-changing fields. Participants performed mock surgical simulations, including procedures to correct a scoliosis deformity, fix a broken leg and repair a rotator cuff.
The program was led by prominent female surgeons, engineers and business women in the field of orthopedics. Scottish Rite's Amy L. McIntosh, M.D. and Kirsten Tulchin-Francis, Ph.D., provided insight on their backgrounds, decisions to work in the medical field and the work-life balance they maintain.
“Before The Perry Initiative, I had never considered a career as an orthopedic surgeon,” Rudo Duri, a previous Perry Initiative participant, said. “I had no exposure to the field and assumed it was a male-dominated field. The summer after I participated in the program, I completed a Research Internship with Dr. McIntosh, and I now have female mentors who have increased my exposure to orthopedics and have helped me achieve my goals in the field.”
“Growing up, all of my physicians were male and looked nothing like me, making my career decision to go into medicine very daunting,” Megan Badejo, previous Perry Initiative participant, believed. "I had an opportunity to attend the Perry Initiative in undergrad, where I not only received exposure to the field of orthopedics, but for the first time, I was amongst a group of women who all had similar goals as myself. I left the Perry program feeling like I could take on the world.”
Thank you to The Perry Initiative for working with us to provide this hands-on outreach program for female students.