At The Perry Initiative, we are committed to inspiring young women to be leaders in the exciting fields of Orthopaedic Surgery and Engineering. We advance our mission principally by running hands-on outreach programs across the country for women students in high school, college, and medical school.
Women in Orthopaedics
Despite the increasing number of women entering medical and graduate school, women make up only 6.1% of fully accredited practicing orthopaedic surgeons according to 2014 survey by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Only 12.4% of the faculty at engineering schools are women, with that percentage being lower for mechanical engineering.
Engineering & Orthopaedics
Engineers and orthopaedic surgeons work hand-in-hand to develop safe and effective implants for repairing broken bones, torn ligaments, and worn-out joints. Strong partnerships between surgeons and engineers are essential for improving the performance of orthopaedic implants and creating solutions to unmet clinical needs.
Our Namesake: Dr. Jacquelin Perry
The Perry Initiative is named in honor of Dr. Jacquelin Perry, who was one of the first ten women orthopaedic surgeons in the country and was a mentor to countless women and men in the field throughout her career. Dr. Perry’s academic career extends from 1952 to 2013, and she received numerous honors for her clinical and scholarly work, including Physician of the Year in 1994 by the State of California and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 by the Gait and Clinical Movement Society. Dr. Perry was also awarded the first UCSF Jacquelin Perry Excellence in Mentorship Award at a Perry Initiative reception in 2012. Dr. Perry passed away on March 11, 2013 at the age of 94 and is greatly missed.
The Perry Initiative was founded in 2009 by Dr. Jenni Buckley (a mechanical engineer) and Dr. Lisa Lattanza (an orthopaedic surgeon). The first Perry Outreach Program for high school students was held in the summer of 2009 in San Francisco, California. In 2010, the high school program expanded nationwide. In 2011, the organization was incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit, governed by a Board of Directors consisting of prominent women in the engineering and medical fields. In 2012, The Perry Initiative started the Medical School Outreach Program to encourage first and second year women medical students to pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery. The Perry Initiative’s integrative hands-on curriculum for middle & high school classrooms, called Orthopaedics In Action, was launched in 2015. Today, The Perry Initiative runs over 40 one-day outreach programs nationwide and has reached over 10,000 high school, college, and medical students through over 400 outreach events.