Kanu Okike

JBJS is pleased to welcome Kanu Okike, MD, MPH as the new Deputy Editor for Health Disparities. Dr. Okike’s editorial “My Grandmother’s Knees: A Call for Research on Strategies to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Orthopaedic Surgery” was published in the November 3, 2021 issue of JBJS. Dr. Okike is an orthopaedic surgeon in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

What are you looking forward to in your role as Deputy Editor? 

There’s so much interesting orthopaedic research being performed these days! As Deputy Editor, I’m looking forward to being part of the process that brings this excellent research to the entire orthopaedic community. 

How did you become interested in orthopaedics and orthopaedic research? 

In medical school, my research mentor was Dr. Mininder Kocher at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Dr Kocher encouraged my fledgling interests in research and suggested that completing an MPH in clinical epidemiology/biostatistics could be helpful. 

Is there a particular moment or highlight of your career that stands out as most gratifying to you?  

Between college and medical school, I spent a year doing volunteer work in rural Ghana. I’d always planned to return, but it wasn’t until after I finished orthopaedic training that I got the opportunity. Aside from these pandemic years, I go to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana, on an annual basis. It’s been gratifying to help KATH’s orthopaedic surgeons deal with complex orthopaedic trauma injuries, and also train the next generation of Ghanaian orthopaedic surgeons. 

In your opinion, what is the most important issue or challenge facing the orthopaedic community at this time?  

Orthopaedic procedures have the potential to greatly improve patients’ quality of life. Unfortunately, the benefits of orthopaedic surgery are not being equally shared among individuals in the population at this point in time. In my opinion, eliminating disparities in orthopaedic surgery—both in terms of access and outcomes—represents the biggest challenge facing our field today.  

What advice do you have for prospective authors? 

Orthopaedic surgery needs all types of research, ranging from randomized controlled trials at large academic medical centers to observational studies at community hospitals. Everyone can be an author! 

Aside from orthopaedic manuscripts, what have you been reading/listening to/watching lately?  

Although I live in Hawaii, I’m from Massachusetts and remain a die-hard Patriots fan. This season I’ve enjoyed watching the Pats as they attempt to return to greatness! 

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