WORTH Event Recap: Bridging Gaps and Building Bridges in Orthopaedic Diversity

The Women in Orthopaedics Initiative at the University of British Columbia, known as WORTH, is rewriting the narrative in orthopaedics. Led by a dynamic team of faculty, WORTH is reshaping the future of orthopaedic healthcare. Learn more about our recent impactful workshop, and the collaborative spirit that fuels its success.

WORTH emerged as a response to the significant underrepresentation of women in orthopedics, especially in surgical roles. Led by Drs. Emily Schaeffer and Hayley Spurr and backed by Pediatric Orthopaedics Division Head Dr. Anthony Cooper, the WORTH initiative has embarked on a mission to enhance Respect, Accessibility, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (READI) in orthopaedics. The workshop series focuses on imparting mentorship to young individuals, paving the way for a more inclusive future in orthopaedic healthcare.

WORTH’s inaugural event in June 2023 marked the start of the initiative, with ~130 students participating in a full day of workshops and career panels. The workshops, ranging from orthopaedic devices to engineering applications, provided hands-on experiences, while the career panel featured professionals from diverse orthopaedic fields. The second event, held in October 2023, hosted over 160 girls both in-person and over Zoom, and featured an expanded Q&A session with an expert panel, and highlighted potential educational paths into different orthopedic careers.

Looking ahead, WORTH is aiming to hold four events in an academic year (two in-person and two virtual), with the first of the virtual events due to take place on February 10, 2024, offering insights into the day in the life of an orthopedic resident. Visit our registration page to secure your spot now!

WORTH aligns seamlessly with the UBC Department of Orthopaedics’ strategic plan, contributing significantly to the goals of establishing an exemplary orthopaedic teaching and learning experience, making insightful discoveries through groundbreaking research, and providing a fully-engaged clinical practice. As WORTH empowers the next generation and celebrates reciprocal community-university partnerships, it stands as a beacon in realizing the department’s vision of pain-free mobility for all.

More details about this transformative initiative can be found on the WORTH webpage.

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