The importance of LGBTQ+ representation in orthopaedic surgery and the formation of Pride Ortho are the focus of a current JBJS Orthopaedic Forum article.
“New Beginnings and Revealing Invisible Identities” offers a candid look at challenges experienced by LGBTQ+ orthopaedic surgeons and trainees that can impact and impede professional development and well-being. The authors explore paths toward greater support, including mentorship, allyship, and community.
As noted in the article, “Creating and maintaining an LGBTQ+ friendly environment is critical not only for our orthopaedic community, but also for an increasing number of patients who identify as LGBTQ+.”
A 2020 virtual happy hour to share personal experiences led to the creation of Pride Ortho. The organization brings together a diverse community of orthopaedic surgeons who are working to advance and support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) representation in orthopaedics. The organization was officially incorporated in 2021.
Jaime Bellamy, DO, a founding board member of Pride Ortho and a co-author of the JBJS article, offers this update:
“We are very grateful for the overwhelming positive response we have received for our LGBTQ+ ortho community. We celebrated Pride Month in June with an LGBTQ+ related webinar every week. I am most excited for our mentorship program, led by [Dr.] Julie Samora, which will launch in the next few months. We started a scholarship program for medical students to offset their costs for away rotations. In addition to our internal scholarships, we partnered with NYU and Columbia, who each graciously offered an LGBTQ+ student money and a rotation spot.
“We have grown to over 130 members. We are having meetups at as many major orthopaedic meetings as possible to increase our visibility and to give people a chance to show their allyship and support. So far, we had a luncheon at AAOS and a happy hour at POSNA, with future plans for meetups at OTA and AAHKS. We hope you will join us!”