About RJOS

The purpose of the Society and organization is to promote the professional growth and leadership of female orthopaedic surgeons and advances the science and practice of orthopaedic surgery among women.

The three main components which are vital to the organization’s mission are:

RJOS 1983 Founding Members

Ruth Jackson, MD    Dallas, TX
Liebe S. Diamond, MD Baltimore, MD
Mary L. Morden, MD Baltimore, MD
Sandra Thompson, MD  Boston, MA
Jacqueline Perry, MD  Downey, CA
Mary Ann Shannon, MD Minneapolis, MN

RUTH JACKSON, MD was the first practicing female orthopedist in the U.S. She discovered the rewards of orthopaedics while working with polio patients  under the guidance of Dr. Arthur Steindler at the University of Iowa. In 1932,  she opened her office in Dallas, Texas. The following year the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) was founded. All who practiced orthopaedics were allowed to join--except Dr. Jackson. Undaunted, she took  and passed the Board Exam in 1937, becoming not only the first woman  certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, but   also the first  woman admitted to the AAOS.

During her 57 years of active orthopaedic practice she published the Cervical Syndrome based on her experience in treating over 15,000 neck injuries, as well  as numerous publications in medical journals. She was chief of the nonschool orthopaedic service at Parkland Hospital and established the first orthopaedic residency at the hospital. She has spoken at medical associations and societies in 39 states and several foreign countries. Dr. Jackson said that she never meant to be famous. She just did her work and "paid attention to the little things." The orthopaedic community mourned her passing in 1994 at the age of 91.

THE RUTH JACKSON ORTHOPAEDIC SOCIETY (RJOS) was founded in 1983 as a support and networking group for the growing number of women orthopaedic surgeons. The women at the first meeting felt that there were many common problems confronting them, which could best be solved by pooling resources. These range from sharing technical solutions for practice problems to how to survive motherhood and orthopaedic practice/residency at the same time.

The RJOS began with 42 women and has grown to a membership of more than 600. The majority is from North America, with international female orthopaedists included. The membership is comprised of practicing orthopaedic surgeons, residents, fellows, and medical students. With these varied perspectives, RJOS offers a woman's viewpoint on the rewards and shortcomings of a career in orthopaedics.

For the medical student, resident and fellow there is a mentoring program to offer guidance as well as practical suggestions for choosing and completing an orthopaedic residency. Those members considering a first job, a fellowship or a career change can be linked through the Mentoring Committee with someone experienced in those areas.

RJOS has focused effort on several area of relevance for practicing orthopaedic surgeons. Working along with the AAOS, educational projects involving osteoporosis and family violence has been completed. Future RJOS efforts will involve women's musculoskeletal health and physician leadership training.

In 1985, Dr. Jackson generously established an Endowment Fund to help finance guest lectures at the RJOS annual meeting. The Society has now placed the endowment with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. Through partnering with industry, the Society has developed the RJOS Traveling Fellowship Program, which awards two fellowships annually, and a Resident Research Award. As of 2002, RJOS also offers two Medical Student Scholarships for those students interested in attending the AAOS Annual Meeting and the RJOS luncheon.

The Society holds a luncheon meeting each year during the AAOS annual meeting. This is a time for conducting the business of the society and also for networking and socializing. RJOS also sponsors a fall Biennial meeting which includes educational as well as career and personal enhancement offerings. Committee work powers the organization. Opportunities for membership are available on the Membership, Mentoring, Program, Nominating, Scientific and Communications Committees.