UNR Med co-hosts program to introduce female youth to medical, engineering careers
Special to the NNBV
RENO, Nev. — On Nov. 16, roughly 40 Northern Nevada high school girls were equipped with power tools, pins, clamps and rods that enabled them to saw through artificial bone during mock surgery sessions while learning the basics of orthopedic surgery and engineering concepts at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.
UNR Med, in partnership with the Reno Orthopedic Clinic (ROC) Foundation and The Perry Initiative, a national nonnprofit working to recruit women into orthopedic surgery and engineering careers, co-hosted a day where the girls received hands-on training from local women surgeons, physicians and engineers.
The Nov. 16 workshop followed a session the day prior geared to medical students, in which female medical students from UNR Med attended.
Experts in the medical and engineering fields say such programs can be critical in instilling knowledge and confidence in young women early on.
Currently, women constitute less than 7% of practicing orthopedists according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and women constitute 13% of engineers, according to the Society of Women Engineers. The Perry Initiative is working to motivate young women to enter male-dominated fields through introductory skills and mock surgeries.
“The statistics for women in STEM fields are sobering,” said Sara DePaoli, foundation director of the Reno Orthopedic Clinic (ROC). “The Perry Initiative is focused on introducing young women to STEM careers and creating a support network. It’s important for young women to see and connect with women working in STEM.”
Currently, the Perry Initiative runs more than 40 one-day outreach programs nationwide and has reached more than 6,000 high school, college and medical students.
These programs are supported in Reno by the ROC Foundation, a local 501c3 with the primary mission of supporting local orthopedic education, outreach, evidence-based research and advanced fellowship training.
Since it was established in 1969, UNR Med has trained 3,500 physicians with nearly 1,300 currently practicing in Nevada,who are leading the way to a healthier Nevada, the nation and the world.
Participating students submitted an essay and application to gain admittance to the program. The Perry Outreach Program is free to female high school and medical students.
For information, contact Sara DePaoli at ROC Foundation, 775-785-3416 or Amy McFarland at UNR Med, 775-682-7734. For information about The Perry Initiative, visit perryinitiative.org.
This article was provided to the NNBV by UNR Med. Go here to view more photos from the day.
Christal Park Keegan’s professional experience includes working as an attorney for the National Judicial College in Reno and for the Chapman Law Firm in Northern Nevada.