Current Gender Diversity and Geographic Trends Among Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Surgeons in the United States

Kristine Kocjan, Kiya Shazadeh Safavi, Brett Flaherty, Aryan Rezvani, Daniel C. Jupiter, Cory F. Janney, Jennifer L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Female representation varies geographically among orthopaedic residency programs, with the southern region of the United States reported as having relatively lower rates of female orthopaedic surgeons. Purpose: To determine the gender and geographic distributions of US-based orthopaedic sports medicine surgeons and analyze geographic patterns between their training locations and present-day practices. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) fellowship completion data from the 2016-2021 academic years were analyzed with regard to gender and fellowship location. Medical school, residency, and current practice locations were obtained via internet searches for all individuals identified within the databases. Locations were categorized into regions based on the US Census Bureau definitions. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed on the data. Results: A total of 1268 sports orthopaedic surgeons who graduated fellowship from 2016 to 2021 were analyzed: 141 (11%) were female and 1127 (89%) were male. The percentage of female sports medicine surgeons in fellowship remained constant (11%-12%) from 2016 to 2021. On average, the annual percentage of female orthopaedic sports medicine fellows was 7.2% in the South, 10.4% in the West, 14.2% in the Midwest, and 14.7% in the Northeast. Based on the orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship graduates from 2016 to 2021, the mean percentage of current female orthopaedic sports medicine surgeons in practice was 7.4% in the South, 11.7% in the Northeast, 12.8% in the Midwest, and 14.4% in the West. Conclusion: Approximately 11% of our sample was female; however, this percentage varied heavily by region, with the southern region having significantly lower rates of gender diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • demographics
  • gender diversity
  • orthopaedic sports medicine fellows
  • women in orthopaedics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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