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The Perry Initiative Outreach Program at UW Health

This past weekend we were thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with The Perry Initiative, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Orthopeadic Society to host an outreach program to introduce young women and girls to the fields of orthopedics and engineering.

The enthusiasm for this program was amazing, with 11 female medical students and 25 high school girls traveling from Racine, Milwaukee, and Chicago to have the opportunity to learn from more than 20 female orthopedic surgeons and engineers in various demonstrations and inspirational talks. The participants had the chance to practice surgical techniques on saw-bone models, including performing a spinal fusion for scoliosis, knee ligament reconstruction, femoral external fixation, and complex fracture repair with plates and intramedullary nails.

With only 6-8% of practicing orthopedic surgeons represented by females1and 13% of engineers in the workforce being women2, The Perry Initiative and those of us in Ortho Rehab at UW Health are dedicated to increasing the female presence in both orthopedics and engineering. Since The Perry Initiative’s inception in 2009, over 10,000 women have participated in this program with 80% of high school participants choosing a STEM related career and nearly 22% of female medical school participants successfully matching into orthopedic surgery compared to 1% of all female medical students. Through our recent event, we hope to inspire women and girls to consider entering the fields of orthopedics and engineering and to change the future of clinical care for the better.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Perry Initiative Link:


  1. Association of American Medical Colleges. The State of Women in Academic Medicine: The Pipeline and Pathways to Leadership, 2015-2016. Date Accessed: 30 April, 2019.
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. Household Data, Annual Averages. Date Accessed: 30 April, 2019.