February 2003 Bulletin

Diversity Web site now "live"

New AAOS Web site promotes diversity in orthopaedics, culturally competent care

By Carolyn Rogers

Just in time for the 2003 Annual Meeting, the Academy’s Diversity Committee has debuted its own "Diversity in Orthopaedics" Web site–www.aaos.org/diversity. The new site is designed to serve as a central resource for information about diversity in orthopaedics and culturally competent health care.

The AAOS Diversity Committee invites Academy members, medical students and others to explore this new site and examine the issues and opportunities facing orthopaedics as it looks to bring a fresh, new face to the specialty.

"Wonderful opportunity"

"This Web site is a wonderful opportunity to connect with others and share information on diversity," says Augustus A. White, MD, chair of the Diversity Committee. "I believe the site is enormously important and useful, and we need to generate good support for it so it can be developed effectively."

A wealth of information is already contained in the site–from articles on the history of minorities in medicine, cultural diversity in health care and "culturally competent" health care, to information on the Academy’s diversity initiative, activities of the Diversity Committee and links to related sites.

The Web site is geared toward three primary "target" audiences:

Medical students

The primary goal of the "Medical Student" section is to educate students about orthopaedics, explain the need for diversity in orthopaedics, encourage them to enter the field and help them find mentors.

A few of the online resources available to medical students through the site include how to sign up for the AAOS mentoring program, helpful guides such as "Fast facts about orthopaedics," "Guide to orthopaedic practices and subspecialties," and "How to obtain an orthopaedic residency," which was written by members of the Diversity Committee. The "Medical Student" section also features inspiring first-hand stories of women and minorities who are succeeding in orthopaedics, various articles detailing the history of minorities in medicine, and more.

Practicing orthopaedists

Practicing orthopaedic surgeons interested in mentoring a student and learning more about culturally competent medicine, diversity in orthopaedics and minority health care will have access to an array of relevant resources and articles in the "Orthopaedic Surgeons" section. This area also includes an "Issues and Opportunities" component that updates orthopaedists on ways they can become more involved in diversity efforts. Information on the AAOS Diversity Award, its selection process and applications for the 2004 Award can be accessed here as well.

Program directors

The site’s third target audience–orthopaedic residency program directors–also will find resources specifically geared to them, such as research reports on cultural diversity in orthopaedics, information on culturally sensitive recruiting and a link to the American Association of Medical College’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Mentoring programs

Orthopaedists interested in mentoring and medical students searching for a mentor need look no further–the site is a "one-stop shop" for orthopaedic mentoring programs. Detailed information about the AAOS and Ruth Jackson Society mentoring programs is posted, in addition to relevant articles such as "The Importance of Mentoring," "Guidelines for Mentoring," "What to Expect from a Mentor" and more. "The Changing Face of Orthopaedics" mentoring program brochure and the "Meet the Faces Behind the Mask" profiles brochure can be downloaded from the site as well.

Cultural Competence

As the Academy develops more materials pertaining to culturally competent care and training, more opportunities for links and sharing of information will be possible, Dr. White says.

"A key aspect of cultural competence is having some basic knowledge about your patient’s culture–the attitudes and ideas a given culture may have towards pain or death, the typical diet, common communication differences, the family member who traditionally makes the decisions about health care, etc."

Knowledge such as this can be greatly facilitated by the Web site, Dr. White says.

"Obviously, there are many cultures and many opportunities to learn from other different groups," he says. "This site will allow us to connect with other sites and expand our base of knowledge about culturally competent care."

Your input requested

The "Diversity in Orthopaedics" Web site will continue to be refined throughout the coming months and will be updated on an ongoing basis. The Diversity Committee encourages visitors to the site to submit any ideas, links or articles they’d like to see added to the Diversity in Orthopaedics Web site. Suggestions and comments should be e-mailed to: diversity@aaos.org

Development and production of the "Diversity in Orthopaedics" Web site has been underwritten by a grant from Pfizer/Pharmacia.

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