New Educational Program Aims to Recruit Young Women in Northern Nevada to Become Orthopaedic Surgeons

News & Events

Perry Outreach Program participants including first- and second-year UNR Med students. Top from left to right: Shanna Straus, Marisa Sewell, Dr. Kyle Lybrand, Allie Arguello and Sally Leong. Bottom from left to right: Cindy Valverde, Katelyn Fellows and Courtney Tranberg.

Perry Outreach Program participants including first- and second-year UNR Med students. Top from left to right: Shanna Straus, Marisa Sewell, Dr. Kyle Lybrand, Allie Arguello and Sally Leong. Bottom from left to right: Cindy Valverde, Katelyn Fellows and Courtney Tranberg.

While young women continue to excel in school in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, women continue to be significantly under-represented in fields like medicine and engineering. Currently, women constitute less than 7 percent of practicing orthopedists according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and women in engineering in the United States has not increased since the early 2000s according to the Society of Women Engineers.

In an effort to improve that national trend, on Thursday, Nov. 9 and Friday, Nov. 10, nearly 20 female medical students and 40 female high school students from northern Nevada convened at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine to participate in the Perry Outreach Program, a hands-on program where they gained first-hand experience on orthopaedic and engineering procedures and techniques.

The students performed mock orthopaedic surgeries, conducted biomedical engineering experiments and heard from prominent women surgeons and engineers in the field.

The Perry Outreach Program is sponsored by the Musculoskeletal Organization for Research and Education (MORE), the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) in collaboration with The Perry Initiative, a national non-profit working to recruit women to be orthopaedic surgeons and engineers.

"The goal of the program is to educate and empower young women to pursue careers in medicine and engineering. By providing the students with interactive learning experiences and professional mentors to instruct and inspire them, we are working to encourage more women to pursue careers in medicine and engineering," said Sara DePaoli, foundation director for MORE, a local non-profit that provides orthopaedic education and outreach programs.

"As a community-based medical school, UNR Med is excited to team with MORE and the Perry Initiative to offer our female medical students and high school students a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on mock surgery scenarios, creative problem-solving and networking with faculty and industry peers. Students walked away from the day with a real-world understanding of what a career in medicine and engineering is like," said Amy McFarland, director of community-based medical education at UNR Med.

Participating students went through an essay and application process to gain admittance to the program. This inaugural Perry Outreach Program at UNR Med will continue to be offered each fall. For additional information about the Perry Initiative, go to perryinitiative.org.

The Perry Outreach Program is free to female high school and medical students. For more information, contact Sara DePaoli at MORE, 775-785-3416 or Amy McFarland at UNR Med, 775-682-7734.

MORE is a local 501c3 with the primary mission of supporting local orthopaedic education, outreach, evidence-based research and advanced fellowship training.

UNR Med has prepared physicians who are leading the way to a healthier Nevada, the nation and the world. More than 1,800 M.D. graduates have received advanced education to provide the best in service to the fields of primary and specialty care, as well as medical research. 


Contact

Julie Ardito
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006
jardito@med.unr.edu

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision that has served Nevada for more than 48 years as its first public medical school. UNR Med's vision is a healthy Nevada, supported by our mission: establishing excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, while committing to a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is a resource for improving healthcare regionally and across the country. For more information, visit: med.unr.edu.