Cara Cipriano, MD, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Kate Gerull, a medical student at the school, have received a grant from the American Medical Association (AMA) Women Physicians Section and the AMA Foundation to conduct a multicenter study of gender factors that may influence students’ decisions to pursue careers in orthopedic surgery.
The two received a $10,000 award from the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women in Research. Since 2006, the AMA program has granted 27 research awards to fund research into topics such as flexible work options, gender differences in practice patterns of obstetricians/gynecologists, and diversity in medical education.
The Washington University project is titled “Gendered differences in medical students’ sense of belonging in Orthopedic Surgery: A multi-institution study.”
The two researchers plan to survey and interview medical students at several Midwestern schools to determine whether a decreased sense of social fit might be discouraging some women from going into orthopedics. Ultimately, they hope the study will help identify strategies to improve gender diversity in the field.