AAOS Bulletin - December, 2005

Gladden scholarships encourage diversity

Awards enable recipients to attend AAOS Board Preparation and Review Course

By Kathleen Misovic

When Shervondalonn R. Brown, MD, took the AAOS Board Preparation and Review Course in March/April 2005, she found it provided an accurate gauge of her progress in studying for Part 1 of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) exam.

“I found the course extremely helpful for assessing my strengths and weaknesses,” said Dr. Brown, a fellow specializing in hand and upper extremity surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “And taking the review course in early spring gave me three months to do a study reassessment before I took the exam in July. It allowed me to spend the remainder of my study time focusing on areas where I was weak and pulling back on areas where I was strong.”

Recognizing the importance of mentoring, Bonnie M. Simpson, MD, chair of the JRGOS Mentoring Program, presented Charles H. Epps Jr., MD, with the J. Robert Gladden Society’s Alvin H. Crawford, MD, Mentoring Award at the 2005 AAOS Annual Meeting

Dr. Brown found both the convenient time and the course content beneficial. “Dr. [Frank J.] Frassica, the course director, did an excellent job of organizing the course and making it relevant,” she said. “He assembled a great group of speakers and offered a great review of the pathology component as well.”

Dr. Brown had planned to take a different board preparation course later in the year. But a scholarship from the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society (JRGOS) enabled her to take the AAOS course.

Dr. Brown was among 10 fifth-year residents and fellows who received the society’s Post Graduate Year 5 (PGY-5) Minority Resident Scholarship last year.

JRGOS will present $1,000 scholarships to 10 more students in 2006. The scholarship must be used toward the AAOS Board Preparation and Review Course registration fee. Residents must pay for their own travel and housing costs.


The J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society is a multicultural organization designed to meet the needs of minority orthopaedic surgeons and to encourage more medical students to consider a career in orthopaedics. “We hope to stimulate them to see that an orthopaedic career is an obtainable goal and to give them advice on how they can proceed on this career path,” said James A Hill, MD, the society’s president.

The society also aims to advance the ideals of excellent musculoskeletal care for all patients, with particular attention to underserved groups.

The goal of the society’s scholarship program is to prepare residents and fellows for the rigors of the ABOS Part 1 exam, which covers the fundamentals of orthopaedic surgery in basic science, musculoskeletal pathology, pediatric orthopaedics, trauma and orthopaedic specialty areas. It also strives to provide easier access for underrepresented ethnic group residents to the Academy’s new board preparation course, which was offered for the first time in 2005.

The scholarship program

The scholarship program is open to minority medical residents in PGY-5 of an accredited residency program or an orthopaedic fellowship program. Women applicants must be of a minority race.

Applicants may not receive any other funding to attend the course. They must be a member of JRGOS, or recommended by a member.

Dr. Brown has been a member of JRGOS for about two years and participated in its mentoring program. “I joined so I could network with other African-American orthopaedists and find mentors in the field,” she said. “It’s a great way to find orthopaedists who attended the same undergraduate school as you, or who are in the same subspecialty. Without the society, it would be really difficult to find orthopaedists of color who share something in common with you.”

JRGOS is hoping more residents follow Dr. Brown’s lead and join the society. “We believe the scholarship program introduces more residents to our society and broadens our membership base,” said Peggy Wlezien, JRGOS executive director.

The society also believes that making the scholarship available to minority residents for the new AAOS course will assist them in passing the ABOS board and help them to go on to become successful orthopaedic surgeons.

To obtain an application for the PGY-5 Minority Resident Scholarship, contact JRGOS at (847) 698-1633. Completed applications are due Feb. 28, 2006. The course will be held May 31 to June 4, 2006, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

Other initiatives

JRGOS sponsors several other initiatives, such as domestic and international traveling fellowships, a mentoring program, and fellow and young clinician scholarships. It will hold its first annual meeting July 6-10, 2006, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

For more information on JRGOS, visit: www.gladdensociety.org. For more information on the Academy’s diversity initiatives, visit: www.aaos.org/diversity

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