Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Market for Orthopaedic surgeons

I recently broke an ankle in Maastricht and flew home for surgery in Boston. In both places I visited the emergency room. In both cases the orthopaedic surgery resident who I was treated by in the ER was a young woman.

In Boston, I remarked that, when I was much younger, orthopaedic surgeons were almost all men, and that back then they claimed that orthopaedic surgery had a lot in common with carpentry, and required significant upper body strength. The resident told me that the situation had indeed changed, she had senior mentors who were women.

When she and her colleagues apply for subspecialty fellowships, they will face not only a more gender-integrated market but also a much more orderly market than in the recent past.

A "match" (a centralized clearinghouse) is coming for Orthopaedic surgery subspecialties--see the following preparatory study by two economists (Muriel Niederle and myself) and seven surgeons. (As it happens--small world--the surgeon who put in the many new titanium parts I now am growing new bone around had heard me give an Orthopaedic Surgery Grand Rounds on this subject.)

Harner, Christopher D., Anil S. Ranawat, Muriel Niederle, Alvin E. Roth, Peter J. Stern, Shepard R. Hurwitz, William Levine, G. Paul DeRosa, Serena S. Hu, "Current State of Fellowship Hiring: Is a universal match necessary? Is it possible?," Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 90, 2008,1375-1384.

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